Pelham Parkway Houses are about to have 375 security cameras installed.
Photo by Aracelis Batista

DON’T smile for the camera!

There’ll soon be several hundred security cameras at two east Bronx city housing projects to make them safer.

After two years of waiting since the original city funding was approved, residents at the Pelham Parkway Houses will shortly be seeing 375 security camera installed there.

Residents at the Throggs Neck Houses will see similar security cameras installed, thanks to almost $5 million in city funding obtained by City Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

Vacca, officials from the NYC Housing Authority and others inked the final paperwork on Friday, Feb. 28 after the two-year red tape funding wait.

With a large populaton of senior citizens, the move for security cameras at the Pelham Parkway Houses, off Williamsbridge Road and Astor Avenue,was sparked by the murder of an 88-year-old grandmother two years ago.

Vacca previously secured funding for security cameras now in place at two senior citizen NYCHA buildings in his district, at Middletown Plaza and Boston Road Plaza.

“Cameras make developments, as well as the surrounding residential communities, safer,” he noted.

“I put my money where my mouth is by getting city funding in place,” said Vacca. “Now, the finalization of the Pelham Parkway camera design means we are moving full steam ahead. I’ve told NYCHA very clearly we will accept no delay.”

Pelham Parkway Houses Tenants Council President Donna Goodall said she hoped the cameras – both interior and exterior – could be installed and working hopefully by sometime in May after the two-year wait for the actual funding.

“It’s a process. You just can’t blink your eyes and get the funding for it,” she said, adding that the next step would be for Verizon and police to work on finding the right places and then installing the fiber optic cable. “Everything is a process.”

She praised Vacca for his continuing involvement with the tenants.

“We love him, we always love him and give him our support,” she said.

Police are still hunting for the killer of 88-year-old Evelyn Shapiro, brutally murdered inside her sixth-floor apartment June 16, 2012 during an apparent push-in robbery as she was returning with groceries.Investigators at the time believed her attacker may have helped her carry her groceries into the locked building. Her body was found lying

face down in a hallway between the bedroom and kitchen, groceries scattered on the floor, and her apartment ransacked.

The city Medical Examiner’s Office said she had been bludgeoned to death.

It was the first murder in the Pelham Parkway Houses in 30 years, although there have been other serious crimes, including drug dealing and gang activity both inside and immediately around it.

Reach Editor Bob Kappstatter at (718) 742–3395. E-mail him at

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