Boerum Hill pole watchers are getting the shaft!

The Brooklyn Paper
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Boerum Hill residents are frustrated that the city won’t help them install two security cameras on their crime-ridden block — even though a camera a block away helped solve a murder last year.

Warren Street homeowners bought two $500 security cameras with a grant from the Hoyt Street and Boerum Hill associations this year order to hang them on a post near Nevins Street, but the NYPD and ConEdison refused to help. And the Department of Transporation, which owns the pole, has no record of their request.

“We’ve been waiting for six months,” said Warren Street resident Rich Rollison. “We could climb up in the middle of the night and put them up ourselves.”

Warren Street between Bond and Nevins streets is one of Boerum Hill’s most-expensive blocks, but it is also bookended by two housing projects.

Over the past two years, the area has experienced scores of petty crimes, including a car theft on Sept. 17, a larceny on Sept. 16, and a rash of burglaries on Aug. 4.

Neighbors also complained last week that teenagers have been climbing on top of parked cars and breaking their windows during the summer.

And a violent gunman shot and killed a 16-year-old girl on Warren Street in front of a Methodist Church near the corner of Bond Street last May — one of Boerum Hill’s two homicides in 2010.

A security camera affixed to a pole by the 84th Precinct five years ago across the street from the crime scene recorded the incident and helped police find the suspect a mere two days later.

Rollison and his wife, Anne Lytle, appealed to the NYPD in July to put up the cameras, but NYPD Deputy Chief Raymond Spinella wrote back that it wasn’t in police purview. He said he forwarded the matter to ConEd — which wrote back a week later to say that the energy giant could not help because the pole belongs to the city.

So Rollison called and wrote to the Department of Transportation, but has not still not heard back from the agency. A Transportation spokesman did not reply to an e-mail requesting comment, but a city source said that the department claims it did not receive Rollison’s request.

Rollison and his neighbors are getting frustrated.

Last Tuesday, a crew of car thief stole two rims from a Nissan parked directly under the lamp post where residents want the camera to be put up.

“If the cameras were up, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said Rollison.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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Reader Feedback

Josef from downtown bklyn says:
I live very close to this block (just across Atlantic).

What is wrong with these people? Our city is already filled with far more cameras than anyone should ever have filming their movements.

Yet for some reason, instead of being outraged and seeking the removal of cameras already in place, these fools are begging for surveillance: "big brother, won't you please watch our every move so that the poor people who live down the way won't victimize us?"

a microcosm of the absurd American mentality - instead of making it so that people have no reason/motivation to commit the petty crimes described above, my neighbors seek to reinforce the disparities these crimes stem from by turning their block into a panopticon. These people don't deserve brooklyn brownstones.
Nov. 22, 2011, 3:24 pm
CTNYC from DWNTN says:
Josef, While you wait for your Utopian Plans to fall into place, why not let these residents do the least they can to ensure their children don't get shot in the street. Grow up.
Nov. 23, 2011, 7:10 am
Jay from Boerum Hill says:
We not only need cameras, we need the housing projects torn down and replaced with a more humane solutioin.
Nov. 23, 2011, 7:55 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Excuse me, Jay from Boerum Hill, first concentrating undesirables in the social and geographic margins and then liquidating them has been used to great effect in the past--see Mein Kampf, for example.

And arguing that their liquidation is humane has a bit of the Orwellian Goebbelesque in it. You sure are learning well from the textbook of FoxNews.
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:38 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you, Josef from Downtown, by the way. There isn't enough substantive opinion on these crime threads--most of it is invective by persons who have hate to grind.
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:39 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Also, Josef, thanks for referencing such a fascinating and timely subject. I recommend others familiarize themselves with the concept, as it is entirely relevant to our present lives:
Nov. 24, 2011, 2:39 pm
warrenst from boerum hill says:
ok everyone needs to calm down. I live on the block in question and was an ear witness to the cold blooded murder of the young woman 2 years ago. Will never forget the sound of that 9mm. If the camera accross the street helped catch that murderer then it's worth it. If you're paranoid, with an inflated sense of self importance, then you might think that the cops are looking at the footage all the time in order to spy on you, but in that case you have never had a conversation with a cop because they have way more pressing matters to attend to than watching reality tv from security cameras.
Sept. 11, 2012, 3:24 pm

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