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Bay Ridge residents demand NYPD surveillance

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Bay Ridge leaders say new police cameras will digitally capture crimes as they take place — if the NYPD would just install them.

Community Board 10 is calling for at least one of the lamppost-mounted surveillance tools to go up on the drag of Fifth Avenue between 69th and 75th streets, and both state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) have allocated funding for at least five of the video recorders to go up in the 68th Precinct, but the police department continues to detain the crime-busting camcorders — and no one knows when they will arrive.

CB10 district manager Josephine Beckmann said that the delayed installation is part of a citywide hold-up that extends as far as the Rockaways, despite the police department having received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding intended to bring security cameras to crime-afflicted areas. Beckmann said that the NYPD’s camera shyness made no sense since the department has already received the necessary financing.

“If the council member and the state senator have allocated money for the district, then cameras should come to the district,” said Beckmann.

Members of the board, sick of the brazen drug trade on the commercial corridor, argued that the security cameras would let cops keep a permanent eye on the avenue to pick out offenders.

“We would know who has the drugs if we had the cameras,” said June Johnson, who recalled watching several young men unabashedly crushing and snorting pills in public. “Everybody knows about it, but what’s being done?”

Board member Sandy Vallas — whose real estate agency sits just off Fifth Avenue, and is a member of the local business improvement district — said new enforcement measures are necessary to preserve the neighborhood as a low-crime haven for the middle-class.

“I want to keep Bay Ridge the way it is — a good safe neighborhood — but what I’m seeing is troubling,” said Vallas.

Another Fifth Avenue merchant — who refused to give her name out of fear of violent reprisals from the thuggish dealers — echoed Vallas’s sentiments

“It’s getting to be a scary place. These kids have no fear, and people are shaking,” the business owner said. “We need to break this gang, or whatever it is, up.”

Residents of the blocks just off Fifth Avenue — particularly on 72nd and 73rd streets — have long complained of flagrant drug-dealing on their streets and of police inaction. The area marked for surveillance is home to a growing Arabic community, some of whom backed efforts to form a civilian patrol to ward off the dealers.

CB10 voted at its April 15 meeting to put pressure on the NYPD by forming a subcommittee to conference with the 68th Precinct and advocate for cameras on Fifth Avenue and other hot spots of seedy activity.

An aide to Gentile confirmed that the pol had given New York’s Finest money for the cameras and that he is pushing for them to be installed along the corridor, but had gotten no response from the police.

Golden spokesman John Quaglione didn’t have an official date either, but promised that fed-up Ridgites won’t have to wait much longer.

“We are very close to an official announcement on the security cameras,” said Quaglione.

A police spokeswoman told this paper that the department only got the necessary permit to install the cameras from the mayor’s office on April 12, and that it would be looking for a location on Fifth Avenue in the coming months. But she pointed out that the NYPD would only install a surveillance device if it could find a firm base — like a lamppost — to mount one on that also provided an uninterrupted view down the thoroughfare. And even if it discovers such a spot, she said she could not give a time frame for when the camcorder would go in — despite top cop Ray Kelly’s call for more video oversight in the aftermath of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings.

“All I can say is we will be working as quickly impossible to get the cameras installed,” the source said.

In the meantime, CB10 advises community members to immediately phone 911 when they witness illicit activity.

“When you see these things, you have to report it,” said Fran Vella-Marrone, chair of the panel’s Police and Public Safety Committee.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Posted 12:00 am, April 25, 2013
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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
So Marty Golden wants actual spy cameras, but not speed cameras?

What a joke.
April 25, 2013, 7:41 am
Kass from Bay Ridge says:
yeah, I always see those cars with tinted windows with loud music..
April 25, 2013, 8:58 am
James from Bay Ridge says:
So, wait, Marty Golden is against speed cameras but for spying cameras?
April 25, 2013, 9:08 am
C from Bay Ridge says:
Freaking ridiculous. There was a shooting outside the deli on 5th Ave and Bay Ridge Ave last night, 4/24. Got a response from ESU and the cavalry. We all knew this was bound to happen, and now it has. What does the 68 have to say now?
April 25, 2013, 9:33 am
Kass from Bay Ridge says:
drug dealers and teen gangs roaming on streets during late afternoon and at night, what a contrast from the morning to 3pm. And despite a 12% decline in crime at 68 pct, drug dealers and teen gangs seem to have home court advantage.
April 25, 2013, 9:41 am
Kass from Bay Ridge says:
drug dealers and teen gangs roaming on streets during late afternoon and at night, what a contrast from the morning to 3pm. And despite a 12% decline in crime at 68 pct, drug dealers and teen gangs seem to have home court advantage.
April 25, 2013, 9:41 am
Kass from Bay Ridge says:
drug dealers and teen gangs roaming on streets during late afternoon and at night, what a contrast from the morning to 3pm. And despite a 12% decline in crime at 68 pct, drug dealers and teen gangs seem to have home court advantage.
April 25, 2013, 9:41 am
Kyle from Dyker says:
Does anybody have any info on the shooting from last night? Can't find any news on it anywhere (Not a surprise since the NYPD does a fine job of covering up crime so that Bloomberg can pretend that we're the "safest big city")
April 25, 2013, 11:01 am
C from Bay Ridge says:
Kyle, better keep a watch on this: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cs068pct.pdf.

Make sure the numbers tick up when they publish stats inclusive of 4/24.
April 25, 2013, 12:16 pm
Kyle from Dyker says:
Thank you, C.

I'm guessing the person who was shot didn't die, otherwise this would be top news. Also, a friend of mine who was a couple blocks away said they arrested 2 suspects in front of his apartment building.

It looks like it was drug related, and if they have the 2 suspects, and the person who was shot isn't in critical condition, I would not be surprised if they brushed it under the rug.
April 25, 2013, 12:40 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
The priority of the patrol officers of the 68th precinct is to answer the 911 calls they can't avoid and to make sure that their meals breaks are uninterrupted. It's a "see no evil, hear no evil" approach. The heavy lifting from a police perspective, to the extent that any is done in the 68, is performed by specialized anti-crime squads that are rotated in and out periodically. If you want action on this problem you have to make the 68th Comstat statistics run into the nagative. Start by calling 911 every time you see drop dealing activity, and report the fact that the perps have weapons (they do). Give a good description.
April 25, 2013, 2:39 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Those cameras are worthless. They're already in ghettos. And guess what, those neighborhoods are still ghettos. All the cameras do are push the bad guys to blocks that aren't covered by the camera. They don't stop crime. The only way to stop crime is to put the bad guys in jail or in the ground.

That being said, the neighborhood is being overrun by animals. But ironically enough, the guy who did the shooting was a white kid who grew up here. It's time for the 68 to step up their game and take the streets back.
April 25, 2013, 4:24 pm
Captain Block from 54th Pct says:
These cameras are total B.S., all part of Popeye Kelly's lies lies lies lies lies and smoke & mirrors propaganda campaign. This creep has almost single-handedly destroyed the NYPD and the cameras are part of the reason.

QUESTION: someone give me #s on the arrests and subsequent convictions made because of the cameras in Brownsville, East New York, Crown Heights, Sunset Park, East Flatbush etc etc.
April 25, 2013, 5:33 pm
Kyle from Dyker says:
Hey C, the link to the crime statistics isn't working.

Does anyone have an article or any info on the shooting? I can't find anything online. Kind of weird that nothing is being reported.
April 25, 2013, 5:51 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:

Why didn't these politicians allocate some funds to have the security cameras installed. An outdoor wireless camera is under $300. They could easily pay a local guy to put them up on the trees/poles for under $100.
April 25, 2013, 6:17 pm
jay from nyc says:
forget cameras, bring in the drones they see everything.
April 25, 2013, 6:19 pm
Legal Eyes from Brooklyn says:
End this 'war on drugs' and these dealers would be out of business. That solves a major part of the problem. If there is still a problem with violent crime and gangs then our pathetic excuse for a justice system needs to step up remove violent offenders from society; doesn't matter how much the police step up (even tho they should) cuz it seems the most violent offenders get a mere slap on the wrist.
That being said, the NYPD (like most PDs nationwide), is nothing more than just another gang who only look out for themsleves. Had one of their own been shot....
April 26, 2013, 6:20 am
JAY from NYC says:
uh no legal, other countries have tired that and it does not work and has been a failure. However they don't have the same easy access to guns that this country does which makes violence so much simpler.
The reason dealers are a round is because of USERS. Users are the ones who need to lose their lives, their familys all assets, etc. Kill them like they do in Singapore and Thailand.
Make NO mistake this is a war, and its not just about drugs, there is way more at stake here, its about a criminal element looking to take over, and if its not drugs then its human trafficking or something else. And yes you stupid loser idiot potheads you ARE responsible for the killings too.
April 27, 2013, 9:01 pm

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