The Police Department will install 100 new security cameras in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish populations in response to a string of anti-Semitic assaults, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday.
“An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all New Yorkers,” said de Blasio in a statement. “These new security cameras will increase the NYPD’s visibility into these neighborhoods, and help our officers on the ground keep New Yorkers safe.”
The city surveillance blitz will target street corners in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park, where Jewish residents endured a string of assaults over Hanukkah in December, where were followed by attacks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The city will roll out the first wave of 30 cameras by March, and will work with community representatives to identify ideal spots to install the remaining 70, according to officials.
In response to the Brooklyn attacks — along with a brutal machete assault on a Hasidic family upstate, and a shooting at a Kosher grocery in New Jersey — politicians have been scrambling to stymie the onrush of hate crimes, with both de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo deploying more city and state law enforcement to patrol the borough’s Orthodox neighborhoods.
But a group of Brooklyn legislators claimed they weren’t satisfied by the dramatic response, and demanded Cuomo direct federal resources in the form of the New York National Guard to protect the religious areas.
One of those lawmakers, Borough Park Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, went even further and introduced legislation to undo parts of the recently-enacted bail reforms by giving judges the ability to set cash bail in hate crime cases.