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Broken surveillance cameras at Indy public housing getting repaired after Call 6 investigation

IHA will work also with IMPD on an anti-crime plan
Posted: 10:13 PM, Oct 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-29 22:52:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A Call 6 investigation into broken surveillance cameras at multiple Indianapolis Housing Authority sites has prompted changes to IHA's practices.

Several weeks after Call 6 Investigates began asking questions about broken security cameras at the public housing locations, the agency has begun looking into the cost of repairs and increasing surveillance camera inspections. 

Call 6 Investigates reported earlier this month that 71 of the 422 surveillance cameras at all IHA locations — or 17 percent — were either not functioning properly or completely out of order. Several of the cameras had been out of order for three or more months, and residents were concerned for their safety.

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The agency is expected to receive quotes on Thursday to determine the cost of repairing the 71 security cameras that IHA says are either "broken" or "subpar."

The Indianapolis Housing Agency's Interim Executive Director, Jennifer Green, held a news briefing on Monday where cameras and audio records were not permitted. Green took questions from RTV6 and other media outlets at that meeting in a room with three surveillance cameras, which Call 6 Investigates was later told were not recording at the time. 

The head of IHA's IT department said Call 6's request about the broken surveillance cameras led him to do a full inventory of the agency's cameras for the first time in 15 years. IHA says moving forward surveillance camera checks will occur on a monthly basis.

Call 6 Investigates has also been detailing the increase in crime on IHA properties since obtaining confidential internal records back in May. Those records show Blackburn Terrace, Hawthorne, Beechwood, 16 Park, and Laurelwood are among the top five IHA properties that have seen a surge in criminal activity. 

Following those reports, IHA leaders say they plan to meet with IMPD leadership on Wednesday at 9 a.m. to discuss implementing an anti-crime strategy. 

Interim Executive Director Green says she wants to discuss the best way to deploy IHA's contracted off-duty officers. Green would not say whether her pending budget proposal will increase the agency's public safety budget, which has been decimated over the past decade, or keep it at just over $600,000. 

Green said Stephen Golden was in charge of IHA's public safety operations. 

IHA told Call 6 about the press briefing last week, but Green said Golden was not available to attend. Sources say Golden was at work at the time of the press meeting. 

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