Brooklyn neighborhood says request for more surveillance cameras being ignored

Posted: 10:46 PM, Apr 26, 2013
Updated: 2013-04-26 23:00:38-04

While some people try to hide from Big Brother, one Brooklyn neighborhood is asking for some extra surveillance.

And with money already set aside for NYPD security cameras, some are wondering what’s the hold up.

People living in Bay Ridge say they watched how quickly police were able to pick out the alleged Boston bombing suspects among thousands of people thanks to plenty of video from security cameras.

But here along Fifth Avenue, where they say they’re dealing with a spike in crime, their calls for cameras continue to go unanswered, despite funding for the project.

During the day people living in Bay Ridge say Fifth Avenue is a busy street, but it’s safe.

Lately however, they say it’s become a dangerous place at night: with neighborhood drug deals, vandalism, and even pedestrians getting attacked.

“People have taken money and assaulted people for jewelry and stuff like that,” resident Maria Melendez said.

So to help cut crime, many people living in the area want the NYPD to put up cameras.

“If the eyes are not there, the cameras will be there to help them if somebody does get robbed, or if somebody does get stabbed or if somebody gets shot, or a hit and run,” resident Moe Sabra said.

Even in the age of constant surveillance where groups like the American Civil Liberties Union cry out for a right to privacy, everyone we spoke with here in Bay Ridge told us they’d rather have the police watching over them.

“If anything, God forbid, was to ever happen in Times Square, I’d feel safe due to the fact that there’s security cameras, we could find the people did it and hopefully we could actually prevent it from even happening.”

“If you’re in the street you’re in public.  And public is public.  That’s not and invasion of privacy.”

“This would not be a bad place to have one of those cameras.”

State Senator Marty Golden says he supports the extra surveillance and even set aside $100 thousand from his budget for the project.

But despite ongoing community support and money for the cameras, people say they’re still waiting.

“They always said they were going to put cameras and I’ve never seen the cameras.”

And turns out Bay Ridge isn’t alone.  There are reports of other funded requests for cameras in the city going unanswered for years.

Golden blames the holdup on re dtape saying the money has to go through Albany and Police Headquarters before it gets back to the community.

“Generally it’s going to take about a year and a half by the time you get that type of money down to the precinct, the police department designates where those resources are best served and that takes time,” Golden said.

We called and e-mailed the public relations department for the NYPD to try to find out why it takes so long for these cameras to get installed when funding has already been set aside.

They did not return our request for comment.