NYPD brass said Friday that they will be expanding their control over homeless shelter security in the coming year—with a significantly larger shelter management team, more security officers, and an increase in shelter surveillance and searches.

The newly established 22-officer team builds on a mayoral mandate from March 2016. Under that mandate, which came in response to an internal DHS review of the shelter system, Mayor de Blasio ordered the NYPD to retrain all homeless shelter security officers. (These officers aren't NYPD; they work for DHS and are known as peace officers.) The retraining came in the wake of several high-profile murders in city shelters that raised security concerns.

"Over the past several months it's become clear that the oversight system is working really, really well," said First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker on Friday. Tucker was one of three NYPD officials assigned to the project last year.

While the expanded NYPD shelter team will not operate out of city shelters, the number of DHS peace officers has increased significantly since the NYPD began overseeing shelter security last spring. There are currently 771 peace officers in the system, according to DHS, up from 548 last May. An additional 31 cadets in training will bring the total up to 802, and a DHS press released outlines plans to further "enhance" hiring.

NYPD Deputy Chief Edward Thompson said Friday that, under the new system, communication between the peace officers inside shelters and the NYPD officers who patrol the sidewalks outside will increase—the goal being to "ensure that we have the same strategies on the outside that we have on the inside."

NYPD shelter efforts already underway include training peace officers to respond to emotionally disturbed individuals inside shelters, as well as victims of domestic violence and child abuse, who may qualify for a social services referral (last year, DHS testified before the city council that domestic abuse accounts for 80 percent of violent episodes in adult family shelters). The NYPD is also retraining about 1,400 contracted security guards at hotel shelters—clusters of commercial hotel rooms rented to house the homeless on a short-term basis. Police also helped oversee the installation of 300 security cameras at the 30th Street Men's Shelter in Kips Bay, where a homeless man was murdered last spring.

Absent official data on how various crime rates have shifted since the NYPD began retraining DHS security last March, Thompson also praised what he deemed, anecdotally, to be an increase in arrests.

"I can't talk to stats specifically, but I think we're seeing a lot more arrests, apprehensions, seizing of illicit things coming into the shelter system," he said.

"The more illegal items or controlled items we apprehend before they get into the system, the better environment the clients are in," Thompson added.

Robert Gangi, head of the Police Reform Organizing Project, said that the anecdotal increase in arrests was troubling, but not surprising. "What's evolved over time is an approach by government to use police and law enforcement to respond to, and contain, problems like homelessness, joblessness, drug addiction, and mental health issues," Gangi told Gothamist.

Last spring, the Daily News detailed a controversial approach to policing in shelters: officers using shelter rosters to track down civilians with open arrest warrants.

"Police officers are trained to dominate the situation," Gangi added. "That's their frame of mind in approaching problems. A better, more effective and humane response would be to emphasize smaller, cleaner, safer facilities, and increasing services."

"DHS' security plan, including the new key NYPD role, demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of the individuals and families DHS is entrusted with protecting," said DHS Commissioner Steven Banks in a statement.