The Evans Tower apartments are located at 3600 N. 24th St.

The Omaha Housing Authority Board voted Thursday to upgrade surveillance cameras and security door controls at Evans Tower and the agency’s other 10 apartment high-rises.

The agency also is likely to increase its security officer presence in the towers. The CEO of the housing authority, Joanie Poore, told the OHA board on Thursday that she is looking into contracting for armed security officers to patrol towers and other OHA properties more frequently.

Two people died and a police officer was shot and injured in New Year’s Eve violence at Evans Tower, 3600 N. 24th St. Plans for the surveillance system and door control upgrades were underway before that incident, but residents of Evans Tower and an OHA board member, Eric Burgin, have voiced ongoing concerns about residents’ safety at Evans and other towers. Those include a lack of frequent security presence in the apartment buildings.

The OHA board voted unanimously Thursday to authorize the agency to enter into contracts with Iowa-based company Inteconnex for the surveillance system and door controls.

Poore also told the board that the agency is looking for ways to find and pay for more security officers.

“What we’re trying to look at is how can we work with a security company who utilizes, you know, off-duty, former police department, others who are appropriately trained for security purposes, to come in and to do so in decent chunks of time, at a variety of towers, to be flexible and unpredictable, and have a more substantial presence than we’ve been able to accomplish so far,” she said.

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Chris Burbach covers the Douglas County Board, Planning Board and other local government bodies, as well as local neighborhood issues. Follow him on Twitter @chrisburbach. Phone: 402-444-1057.

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