Case Study: NYPD – Harbor Charlie

Harbor Charlie is a 16,000 square foot facility that serves as the Harbor Command Center for the NYPD Emergency Services Unit. The unit has over 150 officers patrolling 576 miles of waterfront surrounding New York and an elite team of 31 scuba divers. The officers of the Harbor Command Unit are tasked with search and rescue missions, assisting in boating-related accidents, monitoring for terrorist activity, and protecting the many ferries that transport passengers through the New York waterways daily.


Located on New York City’s East River, Harbor Charlie was originally designed as a basic precinct, not a command center. It was therefore in need of a design transformation.

The goal was to create custom working space to accommodate 12 Harbor Command officers and all associated technology needed by remodeling existing extraneous space.

  • Sourcing and installing a top of the line video wall made up of 12 displays, capable of displaying satellite imagery, radar, weather conditions, harbor movement, CCTV cameras from multiple sources and locations, new networks, video conferencing and more through one large image or dozens of images simultaneously.
  • Sourcing and installing a custom high-tech desk system on a raised floor to house all power and computer systems with invisible cabling.
  • Sourcing and installing updated environmental controls including a split heating system and cooling system with roof-mounted condensers and ceiling-mounted cassette units, servicing the command center.
  • Installing a new terrazzo floor with a custom design harbor command logo.

Challenge: Convert an Existing Precinct Front Desk Area into a “State of the Art” Command Center

  • The original front desk area was on a raised platform behind a 4′ high masonry wall, in a 6′ x 20′ space, accommodating 2 to 3 officers. Not an adequate space for a command center.
  • The heating and air conditioning systems serving the area were insufficient making it an uncomfortable environment.
  • A masonry wall behind the desk area separated the desk area from the male police officer’s locker room.

Solution: Logical Decisions and State of the Art Solutions

  • To create more usable and workspace, we reconfigured the layout, effectively reducing the size of the locker room by 20’ while still maintaining the same number of lockers needed effectively.
  • Working hand-in-hand with Harbor Command and the NYPD’s IT division, we sourced and provided the necessary technology at each desk location.

Result: NYPD Has a Command Center for Their Harbor Unit

All client needs were satisfied, and the NYPD Emergency Services Unit now has the operational command center they needed.  The Command Center is now fully capable of supporting 12 occupants with state-of-the-art desk and operational systems.