By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) has earmarked $6 million to make security upgrades in its public housing sites.
Several children have lost lives in public housing over the past 24 months including four-year-old Jurnee Coleman; three-year-old Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney, and two-year-old Major Turner.
“They did not deserve to die and we owe it to them and their families and all existing families that reside in our public housing communities to do everything we can to keep them safe,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Friday at a press conference attended by HABD President and CEO David A. Northern Sr. and Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith.
The $6 million will include installing and upgrading surveillance cameras; license plate readers which will be monitored by law enforcement; LED lighting and lighting repairs.
“When HABD residents lay down at night, they deserve to feel safe and I think it is our job to do that,” Woodfin said. “All of us are collectively doing our part to make sure that families receive the peace that they deserve.”
Northern said HABD’s Board of Commissioners reviewed the Capital Fund budget and agreed to make safety a priority.
“Addressing safety and crime in the city of Birmingham should be something local agencies work on together to make the most impact,” Northern said. “Our hope is that taking additional steps to improve security will make a difference and aid in deterring crime; and better assist law enforcement with solving criminal activity on our properties.”
Smith said his department will partner with HABD to help ensure safety of all public housing residents.
“The Birmingham Police Department is constructing its Real Time Crime Center and that will bring together all of the technologies that work together within the city from cameras to license plate recognition…” he said. “Everything will help us achieve public safety within the community and make sure the residents feel safe when they go out.”
Public housing allocations include:
- Smithfield Court, $750,000
- Marks Village, $500,000
- Elyton Village, $500,000
- Tom Brown Village, $500,000
- Rev. Dr. Morrell Todd Holmes, $500,000
- Collegeville, $350,000
- Kimbrough Homes, $250,000
- Roosevelt City, $250,000
- North Birmingham Homes, $200,000
- Cooper Green Homes, $200,000
- Harris Homes, $200,00
- Benjamin Greene, $150,000