Kelly Village to get security cameras

February 14, 2012 4:46:08 PM PST
Federal money could help a Houston housing development cut down crime. Surveillance cameras are set to be installed in Kelly Village with the hope of giving residents a sense of security.

The Houston Housing Authority applied for a federal Housing and Urban Development grant. It promoted the housing authority complex east of downtown as a project worthy of attention, and the people who live there.

It is one of the oldest and largest of Houston's Public Housing Authority properties. Kelly Village has been updated. Its grounds are well maintained, but there are some problems that go beyond appearance alone.

"Strange stuff be happening out here," resident Sherri Riley said.

"And on New Year's, there was shooting by our house and stuff, and people were just going crazy," resident Tiarra Nicholas said.

And not so long ago, there was a rash of burglaries.

"There was people taking things out of people's homes and stuff," resident Marie Washington said.

It all goes to security, and Kelly Village is about to get more of it, thanks to a quarter-million dollar HUD grant. It's one of 17 housing authorities nationwide to receive the federal money, and it will go for improved targeted lighting and surveillance.

"We'll be able to put cameras in a number of different locations throughout the property to basically eliminate hot spots of where people want to congregate and do not nice things," Houston Housing Authority CEO Tory Gunsolley said.

The camera video will be recorded because live monitoring costs more. More grants might make that possible eventually, but for now, the people who call Kelly Village home -- most of whom are women and children -- say it's a start.

"As far as the knuckleheads, you're gonna have them everywhere, you're going to have them everywhere," resident Kim Perkins said.

"Will security cameras help?" we asked her.

"Yes, security and security cameras," she said.

Deputy constables are already contracted for security patrols. When the grant money arrives, the security upgrades will go out for bids.