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Queens Chronicle

Security cameras on the way in boro

Borough President kicks in $2M for 57 units in high-crime areas

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 12:52 pm, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

The NYPD will soon begin installing 57 new surveillance cameras around Queens, eyes in the sky that will be paid for with $2 million in capital money allocated by Borough President Helen Marshall.

In a statement issued by her office, Marshall said that since the money was allocated in her 2013 budget, the NYPD has been conducting rigorous studies of data in order to place them where they will do the most good for law enforcement.

“These new cameras will give police more eyes on the street,” Marshall said. “They will be a fantastic deterrent to crime and greatly help our police solve crimes and apprehend offenders. After all, the camera doesn’t lie.”

Under the current plans, Jamaica will get 25 of the cameras, with 13 of the devices slated for the 103rd Precinct and 12 for the 113th.

Plans also call for three apiece in the 102nd, 104th, 114th and 115th precincts; two in the 105th; one apiece in the 106th, 107th and 109th; and five in the 110th.

The Chronicle is withholding the specific locations proposed for the cameras.

In a letter to Marshall last year when she first proposed the allocation, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the site selection process takes into account a site’s risk for crime and terrorism, with violent crime being a priority.

Speaking outside a meeting of Community Board 13 on Monday, Deputy Inspector Michael Coyle, commanding officer of the 105th Precinct, said he had no information about specific cameras.

He said all precinct commanders prepare their own lists of recommendations, and that Kelly and his staff do give those suggestions considerable weight.

But the NYPD said sites sometimes must be changed, even if only slightly, for things like logistical purposes following consultation with Con Edison, the city Department of Transportation and other agencies.

CB 13 Chairman Bryan Block on Monday also said he did not have information about any new cameras.

“But if you’re asking me if I support them, the answer is yes,” he said.

Marshall’s office said the Queens cameras could be in place within the next 12 months, but Kelly wrote that when Marshall’s allocations are included with those from the City Council, there is an additional $8.5 million, and a total of 640 cameras in the city.

He wrote that it might be necessary to phase the installation work in over three years.

Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) himself is allocating about $2 million for cameras, and said flat out that they not only help solve crimes, but save lives.

“In high-crime areas, I want every tool we have at our disposal except stop and frisk,” he said. “I think cameras work. You can get people caught in the act of committing offenses.”

Moreover, Richards said he has seen the deterrent effect of security cameras personally, dating back to his days as an aide to then-Councilman James Sanders.

Sanders, he said, was able to secure funding for cameras in a housing development in the Rockaways.

“This was a place where you seemed to have shootings every night,” said Richards, who won the seat after Sanders was elected to the state Senate.

“Now senior citizens can walk on the streets and children are outside playing,” Richards said. “The difference there in two or three years is like night and day.”

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