Eighty of New York’s most crime-ridden housing developments will be fitted with security cameras over the next year and a half, to deter shootings and theft.
This decision occurred after the New York Daily News reported that while the city council had earmarked tens of millions of dollars for the purpose, but the New York City Housing Authority has been sitting on the money without taking action for several years.
Residents of the worst buildings said that the lack of cameras makes them prisoners in their own homes after dark. Meanwhile, NYCHA Chairman John Rhea, the man in charge of making sure that the money gets to where it needs to go, lives in a newly-built condo in Harlem with a 24-hour virtual doorman.
According to the Daily News, shootings in the projects have increased by 28% so far this year, while crime in general is up 7%. Last week, an NYPD officer was shot at the Seward Park Houses in Manhattan.
NYCHA contends that the reason it hasn’t installed any cameras yet is because it needed time to study the issue first, which is why it froze taxpayer funds and convened a task force instead of installing the cameras that had already been paid for by the council.
Now that the Housing Authority has caved to political and public pressure, five housing developments will receive cameras by the end of September: Latimer Gardens in Queens, 830 Amsterdam Ave. in Manhattan, Bay View and 303 Vernon Ave. in Brooklyn and Mott Haven in the Bronx.