Housing Complex's Security Cameras Frowned Upon By NYCHA
With so many shootings in public housing developments this summer and a cry for many security cameras, one family has taken matters into its own hands. But that's not sitting well with the housing authority. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
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It's not a safety measure many public housing residents take, putting up their own security cameras. But a family at the Parkside Houses in the Bronx did it this summer after an 88-year-old woman was killed inside her apartment at the nearby Pelham Parkway houses. Neither development has security cameras.
The husband, who only gave his first name (David), didn't want his face shown.
"I fear for my family's safety now, so I took it into my hands to put my own cameras," he said. "But not only to see what's going on for me but for my neighbors."
But the housing authority sent the family members a letter stating it was contemplating their eviction. The reason? Unauthorized surveillance equipment installed. The agency said it can't have residents installing cameras and other equipment in common areas like hallways.
The family said the threat of eviction is outrageous.
"I tried to go to management before we even put the cameras up but I was brushed off," said Rebecca, a resident. "I was never responded to."
The authority said it doesn't want to evict the family but sit down with them and discuss any safety concerns they have. However, they said the bottom line is that the surveillance cameras have to come down.
The family said it will fight to keep them up, especially because their neighbors support the safety tactic.
"They looked and they came inside," David said. "I showed them and they said 'I wish I had this on my floor.'"
Most neighbors did tell NY1 they liked the surveillance cameras but didn't want to appear on our news cameras. One resident did speak out.
"He pays his rent," the resident said. "I don't think there's anything wrong about it. As he said, he wants to protect his family."
And the family said they want the community to know they have cameras on their floor.
"Women are getting raped, groped," David said. "Different things are happening. Kids are getting beat up and stabbed for their sneakers in the hallways. Not in my hallway."
They said if they do catch a crime on camera, they'll gladly turn the video over to police.