In aftermath of the tragic death of young Leiby Kletzky in 2011, who was abducted and brutally murdered on his way home from day camp in Boro Park, 150 security cams will be installed all over Midwood and Boro Park.
The $1M Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative is the work of Assemblyman Dov Hikind. It is funded by a grant from State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Hikind has said that in addition to Kletzky’s death, the closed circuit television (CCTV) program is motivated by anti-Semitic incidents that have recently cropped in the areas.
Exact locations for the cameras have not been determined yet. Though, according to CBS New York, the cameras will be owned and operated by private community groups.
This is not Hikind’s first attempt at installing CCTV cameras. In 2005, Hikind secured $1.2M for the MTA for 120 cameras that were placed in subway stations on the D, F and N train lines.
Hikind also supported surveillance camera-based legislation last July. The legislation, spurred on by Kletzky’s case, was presented by Assemblyman Peter Abbate and State Senator Diane Savino.
It stated that a $500 annual tax credit would be granted to New York City property owners who buy, install, and utilize surveillance cameras on their property.
It was because of a few surveillance cameras that police were able to determine Kletzky’s location in the hours that led to his death. Police have previously said that the footage available on the security cameras was a major break in the case and eventually led them to his killer.
Hikind has said in the past that if more cameras were available, perhaps authorities could have found the little boy sooner.
The surveillance initiative faces its fair share of criticism from residents as well.
“Yes, CCTV does help deter crime in some cases, but sometimes it is unnecessary. It could be overkill. What about people’s privacy?” says Rob C., a British transplant who grew up with CCTV cameras and has lived in Gravesend.
Other residents are concerned about a possible disparity of state funds for camera programs.
“What about other neighborhoods? I work in Brownsville and we have no cameras to protect women or the schoolkids there,” said Tonya B., a teacher living in Bath Beach. “What about other areas?”
Readers, share your thoughts about CCTV, is it too big brother for you or could it help save lives?