Argus Cameras Still Unseen
Former Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer announced in October 2010 that the community’s request for Argus surveillance cameras, to be installed in and around the Hammel Houses complex, had received the necessary funding.
These long promised crime deterrent cameras still have no specific date of installation. According to 100 Precinct Community Council President Danny Ruscillo, numerous requests via e-mail have been sent to Kelly Nolan, the Legislative Director for Pheffer, to provide an update on the cameras and their installation.
The council recently learned that more funding was secured to increase the total number of cameras from three to six.
Although more cameras are better, the funding application itself can take anywhere from a year to three years to be cleared.
First, it must be cleared through the Assembly’s preliminary application, then to DASNY (Dormitory Authority State of New York). Once that process is complete, the application comes back for a three-way agreement among the Governor’s office, the Assembly and the Senate in which it can also be disapproved.
Nolan stated in an e-mail to Ruscillo that “As of May 4th, 2011, the application was still in the first stage here in the Assembly.” She also stated that she sent a follow-up e-mail requesting to see if the application had been sent to DASNY for the next stage in acquiring the cameras.
The disapproval of the Argus cameras are “highly unlikely” and “there shouldn’t be any issues,” according to Nolan. Yet there is still a real option for the Governor’s office, the Assembly and the Senate to disapprove for the camera funding.
As residents grow impatient, they routinely ask Ruscillo about the status of the cameras at the monthly council meetings. Many residents expressed concern at the last meeting, stating that a great crime deterrent such as the Argus cameras would be a great loss for the Rockaway Beach community.