Atlantic City's most troubled housing development is getting closer to camera upgrades, more than a year after a stalled half-million dollar project.
The city Housing Authority will be soliciting bids for vendors after receiving a strategic plan from TSG Solutions, the group that led the camera project for Tanger Outlets The Walk.
TSG Solutions spent March gathering data for a detailed overview of the current system, after the authority approved $80,000 for that work. Vice President Paul Benne recently presented those findings to a group that included Housing Authority Executive Director Pam James, Tourism District Commander Tom Gilbert and members of the Police Department.
"Stanley Holmes Village will be the first priority for the Housing Authority," Gilbert said. "Paul presented a very solid plan."
"We just talked about the things that we may need," police Chief Ernest Jubilee said of initial meetings on the project, which is not funded by the city.
A definite time frame has not been given, but Gilbert said specifications to begin the bidding process have gone out.
The authority had the half-million dollars, provided through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, in its 2012 capital plan, but the project stalled and only about $100,000 was spent, records show. Meanwhile, James filled out a grant application in October requesting another $250,000, which would include $138,480 for 32 cameras as well as several digital video recorders at $4,850 each.
Jubilee wrote an accompanying letter saying Stanley Holmes had become "synonymous with one of the more drug-infested, crime-ridden areas" in the city. Six people were shot within four months last year, including a man who died after he was caught in the cross fire of a courtyard gunfight.
When 18-year-old Derreck Mack was fatally shot by police during a chase through the village, it was revealed that many of the cameras weren't working. Most of those that do are outdated and ineffective, often capturing unusable images, according to the Jubilee letter.
TSG will act as a project manager for the upgrades, leading the authority through the process, Gilbert said. He likened it to the project manager Atlantic City will hire to lead the Public Safety Department through technological upgrades to its antiquated computer system.
"It's a sizeable investment," he said. "I think the Housing Authority is handling it pretty competently."
The cameras will eventually be tied to the city's ShotSpotter, an audio gunshot-detection system that alerts police to gunshots, and records the time and number of shots.
"We're going to wait until they redo their system," Jubilee said of Stanley Holmes.
The city also is working with Carver Hall, a privately owned complex that has been the scene of several shootings, including the killing of Sedrick Lindo on a stoop last July. A baby was injured by bullet shrapnel in that attack. Four people have been arrested.
"They have to do some modifications to their cameras as well," Jubilee said.
The cameras are part of an integrated system the city has discussed that would be similar to one several officials saw in East Orange. That allows police to keep virtual watch over the city, while also patrolling the areas.
City Council is expected to vote today on proposal requests for a project manager for the technology upgrades.
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