The mayor of New York City wants residents of city Housing Authority projects to be fingerprinted and feels it should be done for their own safety. His reported comments have been met with criticism.
According to the Staten Island Advance, Bloomberg said the city needs to "find some ways to keep bringing crime down there," and said some apartments are occupied by people whose names are not on the lease. His idea is to let fingerprint scanners screen out those who don't belong.
"If you have a stranger walking in the halls of your apartment building, don't you want somebody to stop and say, 'Who are you? Why're you here?'" Bloomberg stated during a radio call-in show.
The mayor said Housing Authority projects account for a fifth of the New York City’s crime, although they only house five percent of city residents.
It didn’t take long for some of the candidates who are running to be Bloomberg’s successor to fire back at the mayor.
Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson derided the fingerprinting idea as "disrespectful" and "disgraceful," according to Fox News.
"Just like stop-and-frisk, this is another direct act of treating minorities like criminals," said Thompson, a former city comptroller, in a statement. "Mayor Bloomberg wants to make New Yorkers feel like prisoners in their own homes."
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio called Bloomberg "out of touch" and urged the mayor to instead install security cameras within the buildings, which house more than 400,000 people.
A spokesman for the mayor later explained that the city is planning to install electronic key pads and key card locks on buildings to improve security. He also noted that fingerprint scan technology is becoming more common and is expected to be coming to smartphones.
"Why wouldn't we want to think about providing the highest level of security possible for NYCHA residents?" spokesman Marc LaVorgna told The Wall Street Journal, according to Fox News. "You place the strongest security measures on things of most value—what is more valuable than their homes?"