Monday, January 3, 2011

CHA Buildings Install New Security Cameras

A reader sends in the following info and photo:

"Has anyone sent you any info on the security cameras going up at CHA buildings on Magnolia and Malden between Wilson and Lawrence?

There are TONS of them and they are very prominent. I personally am delighted! Hard workin and honest residents deserve security. Maybe this will help. Does this replace Kates?"


  1. Hopefully this will act as a deterrent rather than just providing grainy video of murderers and their victims.

  2. I'm very glad. The people in that building are good neighbors and the building is well run.

  3. Per the CHA's website, this is part of an initiative going on throughout the CHA's portfolio. Hopefully buildings on Magnolia South of Wilson will be outfitted as well. I personally think this is good for Uptown and good for Chicago. Cameras don't replace civil and responsible behavior of members and guests of our community, but they might deter and assist in solving various crimes that do occur. I hope they are used, and used responsibility and within the bounds of the law, of course.

    Also, I agree with Seano. From my experience, the folks is the CHA buildings on the 4700 block of Magnolia have been good neighbors, and I would actually like to see a couple of them get more interested in the community.

    There was a shooting last year around the building at Lawrence and Magnolia, but I don't believe the shooter was a resident there. I think that incident scared residents in the building just as much as other neighbors in the community, and none of us should have to live like that.

  4. Still much rather have cops than cameras. I still have been unable to find any sources that say whether or not these cameras have been effect. I can't image they really are. I see guys dealing drugs right under the cameras by my house (yes, I call 911 on them). If I remember correctly (and I may not be) there was a post on UU about a year ago saying that these cameras aren't even manned all the time. So they're pretty reactive and not much of a deterrent. How identifiable can a suspect be from over head, in black in white, dressed in winter clothing?

    Not to be a New Years naysayer, but I personally see these cameras as the city placating the neighborhoods they are robbing of actual police presence. They do not make me feel safer.

    I would greatly welcome any info anyone can share that shows that they make a difference. That might make me feel a bit safer.

  5. These cameras are very high-tech and cutting-edge, they have features that "dumb" cameras don't, it's technical but if interested a little homework will clarify it. Honestly its probably better left unsaid.
    These cameras will help CHA enforce lease compliance which has been a major point of friction. These cameras are not a replacement for police but another tool in their box, I assure you the picture quality is anything but grainy, the resolution is "scary sharp".

  6. Note the cameras in the photograph on Uptown Update are brand new, and I understand have been funded with stimulus money. I do believe they are relatively high tech and state of the art from talking with one of the installers.

    They are currently working on several buildings in Sheridan Park.

  7. the cameras in the picture
    are the dark light looking things hanging down from the white doohickey attachments?

  8. Under the "CHA Scattered Site Housing: An Inside Look" header (

    "* Surveillance cameras. CHA was provided with a grant through the stimulus funds for state-of-the art cameras. Cameras for Uptown scattered site locations will be going in with the following week, but all cameras will be up no later than February 2011."

    For what it's worth, Jadine was quite forthcoming at that meeting and wanted folks to contact her if they had any questions or issue to report. See the link above for more details.

  9. Good to see that the CHA is concerned with the safety of these residents, as well as the surrounding area. And, these 2 buildings on Magnolia have generally been problem free.

    Now, if they would only reverse the swing of the gate on these 2 properties... Everytime I walk by the gate it open onto the sidewalk allowing access to anyone.

  10. Camera does deter crime. In an environment where we don't have enough Officers on the street. Camera is a good option. It could also help prosecutors close their cases faster and more successfully, if necessary. Another good option is to encourage our Officers to spend 30 minutes of each shift to actually WALK in our communities, TALK to some of us face to face and that would magnify the Police presence factor significantly.