Anti-Crime Cameras Now! Say Local Officials
Local officials, civic leaders and community residents called on Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg to “cut the red tape” and go forward with installing long awaited anti-crime surveillance cameras within the area of Rockaway’s 100th Precinct.
At issue, according to organizers of a rally on Sunday, May 5th, is a one word discrepancy in the official grant language which is holding up the project.
The NYPD Grant Unit is contesting the wording put forth by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, and has forwarded it to the New York City Law Department.
“We’re doing everything we can as a community,” said 100th Precinct Community Council President Danny Ruscillo.
Speaking at the press conference and rally at Beach 84th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard about the long delayed placement of the cameras, he said “Installation should have been done yesterday!”
Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder called the press conference to demand the city move forward with installing A.R.G.U.S. surveillance cameras at key crime spots in Rockaway.
Goldfeder was joined by more than 35 residents, as well as Ruscillo, Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, Friends of Rockaway Beach President John Cori and Democratic District Leader Lew Simon. Many held signs demanding an end to what they see as a dangerous bureaucratic delay.
On October 27th, 2010, then Assemblywoman Pheffer announced state funds had been secured for the cameras.
“Over three years ago,” she said on Sunday, “$300,000 was allocated to purchase top of the line, state of the art cameras.
“Three years have gone by, and we are still waiting.”
Goldfeder pointed out that the corner where the group assembled had been slated as one of the first camera locations.
“Here we go again. I am standing right where an ARGUS camera was already supposed to be.
“There’s money. They’re paid for. We expect to have our cameras.”
He pointed out that there have been recent major crimes in each of the spots, all within the 100th Precinct, where a camera is yet to be installed.
“I am urging the NYPD to expedite this process and cut through the red tape to help officers solve crimes quickly and protect our families in Rockaway.”
Each ARGUS unit has two high mounted cameras and they are currently in operation in many parts of the city. In 2010, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the City Council that they have “proven (to be) crucial to solving a number of crimes, including homicides and shootings.”
Said one passerby, pointing to the Hammel Houses complex across the street, “We need attention.
“We could use these,’ she said. “We heard shots in the night (last week). In the morning we found my daughter’s car was shot up!”
“Our police officers are doing a great job, said Goldfeded, “[But] three years have gone by and we are still waiting.
“If we don’t get this done, we can expect more [crime] in the locations where these cameras would go.”