The City of New Haven, Connecticut, is considering spending more than $800,000 of Federal Emergency funding on data center projects for the local Police Department.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) promises to distribute more than $360 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to help them recover from Covid-19.

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– New Haven Police Department

Post-pandemic reset program

The city of New Haven received more than $90 million in ARP funds. The New Haven Independent reports the City has used ARP money to fuel a $6 million summer reset program and is reserving $8 million for a new Department of Community Resilience which will look to tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health disorders, drug addiction, and prison reentry.

According to the New Haven Register, the funds were originally set aside to cover lost revenue and other pandemic costs, but as it was not all needed, the City is seeking to transfer $12 million to a series of New Haven Police Department projects, including $850,000 on two separate data center projects.

The money would be used to upgrade the one police department data center at the One Union Avenue Police Station and build a new backup facility at 200 Wintergreen Avenue.

The Department is seeking $400,000 for a total refurbishment of its existing data center, which it says is suffering with heating and power problems.

“The PD data center is plagued by overheating and insufficient power issues. The server racks are overcrowded and inefficiently laid out,” the Department said. “It would benefit us, to have the entire space rehabbed and bring in a third‐party company to redesign and rebuild the data center.”

It is also seeking $450,000 to build a second backup facility to improve resiliency.

“This would allow us to build out and maintain a tertiary data center. This would allow us to have a better business continuity plan and a more robust DR plan, in the event of an emergency.”

The Police Department is also seeking $350,000 for firewall upgrades it says will allow it to increase VPN throughput and further support remote teleworkers; $3.5 million for new computer aided dispatch and records management systems; $300,000 for Wi-Fi expansion; and $3.8 million for the installation and operation of 500 new cameras across the city.

The application was filed last week, and has been referred to the Finance Committee and City Planning Commission.

According to the proposed Mayor’s budget submitted in March 2021, the city was hoping for $2.8 million in funding for expansion of its network and computing infrastructure, an additional data center build-out to support Public Safety, and a separate $100,000 allocation for firewall and switch replacements as well as server upgrades.

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