Mayor de Blasio announced today that the city will be installing security cameras in six public housing developments citywide. One of those NYCHA developments is Boulevard Houses in East New York, where two children were brutally stabbed—one fatally—earlier this month, resulting in a public outcry condemning the city for delays in installing the cameras.
According to the Mayor's office, the camera installation will begin at Boulevard Houses—along with Fort Independence, Pelham Parkway and Bailey Houses in the Bronx, and Latimer Gardens and Baisley Park in Queens—this week. The Mayor says the city has also managed to review and approve contracts for cameras at 49 NYCHA developments in less than a week. The city is now reportedly on track to complete the camera installation at those developments by the end of the year. "The safety and security of families living in public housing is a priority for my administration, and we will continue to work to find ways to give NYCHA residents the quality of life they deserve," De Blasio said in a statement today.
The camera installation news comes over a week after Prince Joshua "P.J." Avitto, 6, and Mikayla Capers, 7, were stabbed with a steak knife by alleged suspect Daniel St. Hubert, while riding in an elevator in Boulevard Houses. Though Mikayla miraculously survived the stabbing, P.J. was killed. Residents and community members complained that the city had never installed security cameras in the development, even though the installations had been planned for some time. And back in De Blasio's Public Advocate days, he railed against NYCHA for failing to install surveillance cameras in its buildings, noting that though $42 million was allotted for their installation, none had been installed as of July 2012. "These delays have put at risk the lives of residents and the police officers who protect them," he said at the time.
St. Hubert was indicted on murder charges today. Mikayla Capers has been released from the hospital.