Council Member Ari Kagan announces funding public safety and security upgrades after ‘no’ budget vote

This aerial views of the Brooklyn skyline Brooklyn is a borough of New York City
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Council Member Ari Kagan announced he has secured funding for public safety improvements in southern Brooklyn weeks after voting against the fiscal year 2024 budget.

Kagan, who represents Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate, said he will use the capital funding from the NYC council to invest in the well-being and safety of local residents and other southern Brooklyn guests.

Part of the subsidies will go towards installing new NYPD security cameras in Kaiser Park and at Stillwell Ave. and the Riegelmann boardwalk between West 28th St. and West 29th St. The new gear costs $240,000, according to Kagan’s office.

“Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and safe visiting the beach, walking the streets or simply going home,” Kagan said in a statement. 

The team also locked in $150,000 in funding for specialized, unmarked police vans,  that will help the 60th Precinct, conduct investigations quicker and more efficiently.

Lastly, the council member delegated $1000 to each of the 60th, 61st, 62nd and 68th police precinct community councils. These councils work to address neighborhood concerns while serving as the liaison between police officers, public safety agencies and the community.

The council man is also working with the New York City Housing Authority and the police service area to make sure all existing security cameras in NYCHA housing developments are fully functional.

Earlier this year, Kagan voted “no” on the $107 billion budget which was later approved. He was the only Republican amongst 11 Democrats to do so.

Despite his vote against the budget, he said there is nothing wrong with announcing that he secured the funding since every council member is entitled to their own capital funding.

“What I am announcing is fair game. Every council district is given funding whether you voted for the budget or against the budget,” he said. “I feel no problem whatsoever. No moral problem and no political problem.”

According to a spokesperson from Kagan’s office, the council member has and will continue to work with local precincts, and other community groups to gauge the needs and concerns of residents. 

(Update Aug. 11 at 11:29 a.m. ): This story and headline have been updated to more accurately reflect the source of the funds.