Lack of NYC subway cams slows criminal investigations, threatens safety: City Council

Posted at 7:31 PM, Mar 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-25 22:06:08-04

At the intersection of 21st Street and 41st Avenue in Long Island City, cameras can be found at virtually every corner, posted to apartment buildings and in front of nearly every store.

They are everywhere, except inside the subway station despite the NYPDs own crime stats indicating it is a tough neighborhood and that’s just unacceptable for this district’s representative, Jimmy Van Bramer.

“We’ve asked the MTA where are the cameras and where are there not cameras, but they have not gotten back to us. They will not share that information,” said Van Bramer.

The MTA said it will not disclose which of its 468 stations are equipped with cameras, but only that 111 are.
“I can’t tell you where we are putting cameras because that will give you an indication of where we don’t have cameras and we don’t want to give wrongdoers any road map to what stations they might find more profitable,” said MTA Spokesman, Adam Lisberg.

Lisberg said there are currently 4000 cameras in the city’s subway stations and that the MTA’s long term goal is to make sure every station has cameras, but with a cost anywhere from $300,000 to $800,000, resources are limited.

Van Bramer, however, wants more transparency especially because another station in his district is also without cameras.  It is the same station along the 7 line where just months ago, Sunando Sen, was allegedly pushed onto the tracks by Erica Menendez. She was caught thanks in part to surveillance video from a local business.

“If you won’t share that information with me the council person who’s the person who can actually provide funding for the cameras, how are we ever going to get cameras?” asked Van Bramer.