New monitoring center opens on Rikers Island

The New York City Department Of Correction unveiled a new operations center, officially called the Compliance and Safety Center, on Rikers Island Wednesday.

"We will be using the sophisticated equipment to ensure compliance and provide necessary and consistent support to the leadership to each of our jails," Commissioner Cynthia Brann said.

The center is split into two different areas: the emergency operations center and video monitoring unit. It is equipped with over 40 monitors, 18 portable radios, and one FAA emergency alert notification box. This is the first time the department is using this kind of equipment. The jail complex now has about 10,000 cameras, which allows 100-percent camera surveillance throughout Rikers Island.

"Here our staff will have the tools that they need not just to do their job, but to excel in emergency situations and protocols," Brann said.

The department said officers have the ability to review and respond to incidents in real time.

The jail's problems with violence, corruption, and civil rights violations are well known and longstanding.

You may ask why invest all this at Rikers Island when the city plans to eventually close it? The commissioner said the department won't sacrifice safety in the meantime and intends to move the equipment to the next facility.