New Cameras Focus on Added Safety Around Battery Park City Ball Fields

One of four night vision security cameras that together now provide panoramic views of the entire Battery Park City ball field area. They are encased and positioned to prevent tampering or obstruction of the lenses, according to the Battery Park City Authority. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Dec. 06, 2016

Four new eyes now keep an unblinking watch over the Battery Park City ball fields and the block-long terrace that overlooks it.

The four cameras last week were installed on poles around the fields, meant to provide added vigilance to the human security presence in the area. The Battery Park City Authority said it paid $180,000 for the new surveillance.

Allied Universal safety officers, known as Ambassadors, patrol the ball field area around the clock.

"It's definitely another tool in the security system," said Patrick Murphy, Allied Universal's director of security for Battery Park City. Murphy was standing on the terrace, a site of concern for parents after two local teens were beaten near the stairs at the southern end of the terrace last December. "It's a wide area so if the Ambassador is not seeing physically what's happening on the steps over here it helps to enhance that area of coverage."

The video is fed to Allied Universal’s nearby command center on North End Avenue, where an Ambassador can monitor all four panoramic views at one time, taking in the entire field and terrace, or zoom in for a closer look. If the officer viewing the screen sees a crime in progress, he is told to call 911 as well as the Ambassador assigned to the area, Murphy said. The officer is not empowered to make an arrest or physically intercede.

Video from three previously installed cameras in Teardrop Park are also monitored in the command center. New cameras will begin surveilling Rockefeller Park within the next couple of months, authority officials said.