2009-07-31 / Top Stories

Sanders Sets $2.5 M For Hammel Houses Cameras

By Miriam Rosenberg

If City Councilman James Sanders Jr. has his way, residents of the sprawling Hammel Houses complex in Rockaway Beach will finally get some peace of mind.

After multiple shootings and gun arrests over the past two years, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will place a new camera system in the public housing complex, thanks to $2.5 million obtained by the councilman for a series of Closed Circuit Television (CCT) cameras to be installed throughout the complex.

"No more will we continue to allow thugs to victimize our community," said Sanders in a press release. "I am fed up with the senseless plague of violence that continues to be a critical obstacle in the restoration of our community."

The councilman added that the cameras will "assist in prosecuting shooters to the fullest extent of the law." Sanders described CCT technology, or as he called it gunshot technology, at a press conference in March.

"It's so sophisticated that if you fire a gun, the cameras will come on and take a picture of you in two seconds," continued Sanders.

Peggy Thomas, the president of the Hammel Houses Tenant Association said, "[Thanks to Councilman Sanders] the residents of Hammel Houses will finally be able to feel safer."

In March, Sanders presented $2 million to NYCHA's then-chairman Ricardo Morales and Redfern Houses Tenant Association president Doris Jacobs for long-sought cameras for that often-dangerous housing complex. At that time, the councilman promised he would secure the funds for other NYCHA developments in Rockaway.

As of March of this year, NYCHA has put more than 5,000 cameras in its buildings over the last few years. During the next year and a half 1,200 more cameras will be installed.

Sanders, along with NYCHA chairman John B. Rhea, will officially announce the $2.5 million allocation at a press conference at the Hammel Houses Community Center on August 5 at 11 a.m.

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