The City of Jersey City has begun installing 40 new CCTV cameras after receiving a $355,000 grant from the Office of Homeland Security, Urban Areas Security Initiative.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We have been working quickly to replace the outdated and inefficient CCTV camera program with a state-of-the-art system in strategic locations,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“In less than a year, we have made significant progress and know that these new cameras will have a huge impact on public safety.As we continue to increase the number of officers on the streets, this is another resource that will assist us in fighting crime with the latest technology and best practices.”
Phase II of the project includes four cameras at each of the following 10 locations:
· Winfield and Ocean Avenues
· Bartholdi and Ocean Avenues
· Fulton and Ocean Avenues
· Dwight Street and Ocean Avenue
· Lexington and Bergen Avenues
· Bayview and Garfield Avenues
· Monticello and Brinkerhoff Avenues
· Monticello and Belmont Avenues
· Monticello and Jewett Avenues
· Monticello and Gardner Avenues
Another feature of the new camera system that sets it apart from its predecessor is that all of the cameras are 5 megapixel cameras to provide higher clarity, whereas previously they were 1 megapixel at best.
The majority of camera locations will have four fixed cameras covering a 360-degree field of vision, thereby removing user error as a camera will never be facing the wrong way and removing the ability for criminals to move out of view.
The state-approved vendor, Millennium Communications, is nearing completion of Phase I of the program, which includes a total of 78 cameras at thirteen locations and six parks.
That also includes 26 cameras at the following six parks: Ferris (Triangle) Park, Stevens Park, Muhammad Ali Park, Audubon Park, Arlington Park and Columbia Park.
Phase I includes (in addition to the parks):
52 cameras at the following thirteen locations:
· Atlantic Avenue and MLK Drive
· Wilkinson Avenue and MLK Drive
· Stegman and MLK Drive
· Wade Street and MLK Drive
· Stevens Avenue and MLK Drive
· Bergen Avenue and Stegman
· Old Bergen Road and Bartholdi Avenue
· Neptune and Ocean Avenues
· Ocean and Claremont Avenues
· Rutgers and Chapel Avenues
· Bayview and Ocean Avenues
· Wegman and Ocean Avenue
· Woodlawn and Ocean Avenues
In addition to the 78 cameras, Phase I also included the installation of the most advanced fiber optic cable along the length of Ocean Avenue, MLK Drive and Bergen Avenue, in addition to portions of Garfield Avenue.
This allows for the connection of the side streets into the CCTV camera system and easier expansion for the future phases.
Phase I and Phase II total approximately $600,000 and are a combination of Dept. of Homeland Security Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) funds and capital budget funds.
The city has also secured an additional $500,000 in funding for future phases of this project from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Forfeiture Fund.
The prior system, which was comprised of 150 cameras, was installed in phases between eight and 15 years ago using Urban Enterprise Zone funds, which meant they were placed in business districts throughout the city – not the most effective locations.
The locations for the new cameras are based on crime data that shows areas of historically higher crime, are municipal parks or from feedback from the community.
Additionally, the old cameras hadn’t been serviced in several years once the state withdrew UEZ revenue for municipalities, which meant that at times a third or more were out of service.