YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Cameras that watch residents’ every move failed to capture one major event on Youngstown’s east side Thursday night.
Two men involved in a shootout ended up dead in the Rockford Village housing development on Willow Court.
“They [security cameras] were operable last night,” said Carmelita Douglas, executive director of the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, which oversees the development. “There, exactly at the spot where the incident occurred, the camera was not focused.”
Douglas said the $500,000 high-definition security cameras missed the double shooting.
“It would be almost impossible to have cameras on every inch of the site at the same time,” she said.
Residents of Rockford Village have seen their share of major crimes over the years. Nobody would go on camera to discuss Thursday night’s homicides, but one resident made it very clear she is not happy with security at the property.
“It ain’t right. These is people’s lives they are playing with,” Lynette said.
But Douglas said the crimes have decreased at Rockford Village since the cameras were installed a little more than a year ago.
“We put the cameras where the statistics say the most need is,” Douglas said.
According to city officials, eight out of every 10 crimes that happen at Rockford Village are committed by people who live in other parts of the city.
“It does not sit too well,” Lynette said.
YMHA Public Safety Coordinator Jim Winston said the cameras at Rockford Village focus more on common areas, like parking lots and streets.
“When an incident like this happens in front of someone’ house, there is a good chance it is not going to be on the camera,” Winston said.
The YMHA is in the process of buying more security cameras for its properties, but they said they will have to make do with what they have until money is available.
“Right now, funds are really tight,” Douglas said.
At the same time, Douglas said the YMHA pays Youngstown police extra to patrol the properties. In Thursday night’s case, police patrolled just minutes before the shooting happened.
As the investigation continues, police will have to rely on eyewitness reports to put the pieces together.