On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, NYCHA Federal Monitor Bart M. Schwartz and Resident Engagement Monitoring Team Leader Asha Muldro hosted the 14th Meeting of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) via Zoom. A recording of the meeting is available on the NYCHA Monitor’s YouTube channel.

During his opening comments, Mr. Schwartz welcomed NYCHA’s new Director of Safety and Security, Chief Secreto and indicated the vital role he will have at NYCHA especially for its residents.

Chief Secreto: provided an overview of his background including serving more than 40 years with the New York City Police Department; retiring as Commander of Police Service Area (PSA) 3, as well as growing up in the NYCHA development of Albany Houses in Brooklyn. He also highlighted his day-to-day experiences over the past couple of months in his new role.

Ms. Muldro summarized the multitude of security and safety issues at the developments and opened the meeting up to all CAC members to share their suggestions and comments with Chief Secreto. This included issues related to homelessness, forfeiture funding for cameras, damaged doors, tenant patrol, tailoring safety and security plans for individual developments, and managing residents who are contributing to the violence.

Additional updates from CAC members included:

  • New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector, Howard Gottesman, discussed a new program for the homeless to ensure they receive referrals for services. He also announced that the NYPD is doing sweeps in NYCHA’s most problematic buildings.
  • Fire Department of the City of New York Deputy Assistant Chief, Kevin Brennan, updated members on the universal key fobs which now allow NYCHA to track their usage and provide notifications when main doors need to be accessed during an emergency to prevent unwanted damage.
  • Fire Department of the City of New York Director of Community Affairs, Fabricio Caro, announced that the department is working with NYCHA’s resident engagement to establish fire safety training citywide. A library of content about fire safety has been created for residents to access. The Department is currently working with the NYPD to establish standard operating procedures for outreach following a serious or fatal fire. In addition, the Department is involving PSAs with fire safety awareness through train-the-trainer programs and will be exploring similar programs with resident associations.
  • Monitoring Team Member, Fred Baldino, explained his role on the monitoring team and his specific team members. This includes routine visits to the developments in which safety and security is always a topic of concern when meeting/speaking with residents.
  • Citywide Council of Presidents Inc. (CCOP), Treasurer, Lilithe Lozano, highlighted the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Community Engagement Monitoring Team Leader, Edna Handy, provided an update on tools to track funding given to NYCHA. She introduced Steven Ko from the New York City Parks Department who demoed the Parks Capital Tracker. NYCHA Executive Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Eva Trimble, reported that the IT team is currently working on a similar tracker which they anticipate launching by the Spring.
  • Ms. Trimble also informed members that a meeting was held in December with community center leaders to develop a script for CCC operators, as well as a process to better respond to community center partners regarding repair requests and complaints coming through the CCC.

Deputy Monitor Dan Brownell closed the meeting by thanking Ms. Trimble for working with the monitoring team to remedy issues related with the community centers and a funds tracker.