For Immediate Release
Contact: Mayor's Press Office
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
|Mayor Daley Announces Installation Of Security Cameras At Navy Pier Is Completed|
Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced that the first phase of a project to extend the coverage of security cameras along Chicago's lakefront and waterways has been completed with the installation of cameras at Navy Pier.
"Chicago is the largest general cargo inland port in America. The security of our extensive waterfront and waterways is vital to the economy of the City and the region and the safety of the millions of people who live or visit here," Daley said in a news conference held at Navy Pier.
The camera installation was paid for with $4.2 million of a $7.5 million grant received in 2006 under the Port Security Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to improve the City's capabilities to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from a terrorist incident along the lakefront and the Chicago River.
The Mayor said it is the responsibility of the city to provide the police and fire departments with up-to-date facilities and equipment that make use of the most advanced technology and continue the commitment to innovation that has always marked Chicago when it comes to emergency preparedness and security.
"One of our most effective tools in this area has been the security camera, which has greatly enhanced our ability to respond to emergencies or violent activities in neighborhoods and around school buildings all over the city," he said.
"People want these cameras in their neighborhoods, because they make them safer and disrupt the activities of drug dealers. We can't afford to have a police officer on every corner, but cameras are the next best thing. Navy Pier is one of the busiest neighborhoods we have in Chicago," Daley said.
Navy Pier attracts more the 9 million visitors a year and it is critical that it be equipped with the most advanced technology possible to help respond to any kind of incident, the Mayor said.
The more than 200 cameras around Navy Pier increase video security capability and provide streaming video for live viewing. Completion of the project gives the City a fully integrated video monitoring system that extends visibility along the perimeter of the Pier and its entrances and exits.
In addition to the cameras themselves, the system includes emergency call buttons placed around the pier and a new command center. In addition to monitoring from the Pier's command center, the system is accessible by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and by the Police Department's Marine Unit, which is the City's first responder for water-related incidents.
Phase two of the project will include camera coverage around other lakefront locations such as McCormick Place and Soldier Field, and miles of beaches and harbors.
Daley thanked the federal government and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin for their support for this project.
"It is an excellent example of how we work closely with the federal government and with state and regional agencies to use state-of-the-art technology and strategies to stay ahead of potential threats to our safety," Daley said.
"Thanks to the efforts of many departments in city government, Chicago remains as secure as any big city can be," he said.