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NYPD officers at the 78th precinct have a live feed of the area outside the arena from about a dozen cameras

Walking past the Barclays Center? Smile! You’re on police camera

The Brooklyn Paper
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Barclays Center, we hope you’re ready for your close-up, because more than a dozen police security cameras are honing in on the area around the 18,000-seat arena at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues at any given moment, this paper has learned.

Police made the arena viewable from all angles at the click of a mouse when they quietly installed the cameras high up on lampposts surrounding the basketball palace about nine months ago, said Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri of the 78th precinct, which patrols outside the Barclays Center and, at its station house, has around-the-clock live feeds of crowds streaming past one of the borough’s busiest intersections.

“It’s a big arena and like any major venue or any bridges or tunnels or stadiums or schools and colleges, they will have cameras for safety,” the commanding officer said.

Behind the front desk of the cop shop, monitors show images from the eyes in the sky as they pan across the plaza, sidewalks, and subway entrances that ring the sports and music venue.

The New York Civil Liberties Union, which has advocated against the expanded use of surveillance cameras by police and corporations, said that it does not have a problem with this particular kind of filming. Chris Dunn, a lawyer with the group, said that it is the widespread installation of secret cameras that his organization is worried about and that the arena’s camera boxes, which are marked with small police insignias, are akin to having officers standing guard in those spots.

It is unclear who owns two other rooftop cameras — one atop a building at Flatbush Avenue near Dean Street and the other on a Fort Greene Place Office tower above the Atlantic Terminal Mall — their lenses trained on the arena that is the centerpiece of the controversial Atlantic Yards development, but affixing such cameras to a building one owns is perfectly legal. A Barclays Center spokesman refused to comment on those taping devices, but neighbors we spoke to say they do not mind having their every move recorded, though they wish more beat cops would actually patrol the streets.

“The cameras are probably a good thing, but it won’t stop the crime from happening,” said longtime Prospect Heights resident Marie Sankoh. “If I saw more cops, that would be better.”

Ameri said even though the home of the Brooklyn Nets is heavily surveilled, the surrounding area is quite safe. The top cop said that no violent crimes have been reported outside the one-year-old arena in nearly a year.

The neighborhood’s outgoing councilwoman and soon-to-be city Public Advocate Letitia James is a longtime critic of the Atlantic Yards project on issues including aesthetics, construction wages, and street parking, but she said that whether you like corporate and government surveillance or not — Brooklynites love it, by the way — Big Brother is a natural fit for the Barclays Center.

“It doesn’t come as any surprise that there surveillance cameras around the arena,” James said. “It’s not a question of good or bad — most arenas do have surveillance cameras.”

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.
Updated 5:30 pm, November 1, 2013: Context added.
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Reasonable discourse

Povin's Cups from Brooklyn Isles says:
That's a good way to filter out mouth breathing rangers fans.
Nov. 1, 2013, 3:15 am
I-C-U from up high on a streetlight says:
The captain of the 88th Precinct announced earlier this month that Tish paid for the installation of these types of cameras all over Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
Nov. 1, 2013, 9:37 am
bkmanhatposeur from brokelyn says:
They need to put cameras in the projects & around Bushwick
Nov. 1, 2013, 9:49 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
what do the police in the 78th precinct do? I think they hang around the entrance to Barclays collecting autographs.
Nov. 1, 2013, 9:59 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
AGAIN. AGAIN, and I hate to say it, but we are all missing a massive factor. Pardon the interruption.
Nov. 1, 2013, 10:14 am
jjm from c. hill says:
The crooks dont give a shi*tabout these cameras. So many robberies happen around that area & elsewhere with cameras & they still get away with it so whats the use?
Nov. 1, 2013, 11 am
jjm from c. hill says:
Besides, these same crooks will post their crime on youtube anyway so in a way, there pretty much creating celebrities.
Nov. 1, 2013, 11:03 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Ok. Somebody has to say this:
Ticket prices/scalpers. And also, the like.
"THEY" might use all of this expensive technology so that people who don't water-ski behind yachts might be able to enjoy a show here every once in a while.
Pardon my suggestion. John Wasserman.
Nov. 1, 2013, 11:13 am
Jay from Nyc says:
Potvin STILL sucks!!
Nov. 1, 2013, 11:27 am
harriet from Prospect Heights says:
These cameras are just another way taxpayers are subsidizing the profits of Ratner/Prokhorov.
Nov. 1, 2013, 2:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Even with the cameras, most of the crimes will still occur with the criminals feeling unhindered. There are many areas that have these, and the crimes are still high despite this. Some of them can go where the cameras won't even be around so that they can do whatever they want without ever being seen. I won't be surprised to hear from the Atlantic Yards Report and the Atlantic Yards Watch, which are both different websites, on how many crimes were committed despite the cameras being there and they probably won't even be arrested once.
Nov. 1, 2013, 4:11 pm
bkmanhatposeur from brokeland says:
Yeah Tal but the cameras give cops some clues to chase the bad guys & reckless automobile drivers who disregard pedestrians & bicyclist.
Nov. 1, 2013, 11:02 pm
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
I guess everyone missed this part of the story......

"Ameri said even though the home of the Brooklyn Nets is heavily surveilled, the surrounding area is quite safe. The top cop said that no violent crimes have been reported outside the one-year-old arena in nearly a year"....... bunch of trolls
Nov. 2, 2013, 8:53 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
To those who still believe that these cameras will work, I suggest reading the Atlantic Yards Report and/or the Atlantic Yards Watch and hear otherwise unless you really do have relations with Ratner and happen to continue drinking that kool-aide he gives you.
Nov. 3, 2013, 6 pm
alice says:
omg, who here is having "relations" with Ratner ???
Nov. 3, 2013, 8:13 pm
Mark from Park Slope says:
When Ameri cites crimestats, you have to factor into consideration that those stats are self reported. Just saying'. Not suggesting that a body found is reported as coming from another pct, just reminding that the possibility exists for window dressing without independent oversight of the NYPD. There is a lot at stake for Brooklyn and a massive public and private investment after all.

Having said that, i love cameras. I imagine 90% who are not criminals love them too. (10% being anti-man everything)
Nov. 3, 2013, 10:06 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
I agree, Mark.

Some people seem totally fixated on the mugging angle (i.e., that perps will just move their business elsewhere), as if the BC were just another camera'd street corner.

They forget that every high-profile, big-draw venue can attract nuts -- who might target the site itself or someone(s) in it, and-or want maximum p.r. for some inner rage.

It would be ludicrous *not* to deter this via surveillance.
Nov. 4, 2013, 12:11 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I highly doubt that placing police cameras will help reduce crimes especially when there numerous areas that already have them but the crimes rates are either the same or have increased, making this feeling non-effective.
Nov. 4, 2013, 3:59 pm
VITO from SHEEPSHEAD BAY says:
the camaras are great look what lives there and with that kind of trash and thugs i say put up 4000 more
Nov. 4, 2013, 4:13 pm
Captain Block from 52rd Pct says:
And you know what cops 'monitor' those cameras? HINT: they ain't the best and department knows it.
Nov. 4, 2013, 6:40 pm

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