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‘Leiby’s Initiative’: Lawmakers To Propose $500 Tax Credit For Surveillance Camera Installation

NYC Stands To Lose $472 Million, But Plan Met With Overwhelming Support
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Leiby Kletzky (handout); Levi Aron (credit: Facebook via CBS 2)

Leiby Kletzky (handout); Levi Aron (credit: Facebook via CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Leiby Kletzky murder nightmare in Brooklyn may lead to more surveillance cameras across New York City.

It was a video — shot from stores and a dentist’s office — that ultimately led police to Levi Aron, the man who allegedly murdered the 8-year-old boy. Now, in the aftermath of that senseless and brutal crime, lawmakers want to encourage homeowners in residential areas to get their own surveillance gear, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“When this kid went missing the first hour, the second, the third, you know those cameras would have told the story and maybe saved his life, possibly,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind said.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Funeral Of 8-Year-Old Leiby Kletzky

Assemblyman Hikind (D-Brooklyn), Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn), and State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Brooklyn/Staten Island) will introduce a bill called “Leiby’s Initiative,” which would give a $500 annual tax credit to any New York City property owner who installs and maintains surveillance cameras on their property.

“If we had more surveillance cameras, we could have traced Leiby literally within minutes — his tracks. So this is one of many initiatives that will come forward to try to do more to protect our children. The more cameras you have, the safer your community,” Hikind told 1010 WINS.

“This is the way we’re fighting terrorism today as well. You know, New York, everybody says, you know when you have someone on video. Even the message that this community has video cameras all over is enough to discourage someone from doing anything,” Hikind told Kramer.

In the shell-shocked community it was hard to find anyone who was against the initiative.

“Absolutely a fantastic idea. I mean, everybody would surly go on it,” Borough Park resident Yankey Rosefeld said. “In crime, breaking into houses and in regards to the tragedy that we had I think it should be a very good idea.”

“Go back to the tape and see, you know you can save someone’s life,” added Israel Hagar of Kensington.

“I think in light of what happened I think it’s a very reasonable and sensible thing to do,” said Miriam Gabbay of Flatbush.

“Definitely a good idea. I don’t see any downside on it. I don’t know what the actual cost is of installing one, but certainly a step in the right direction. It played such a vital role in helping track down this murderer,” Borough Park’s Alex Weinstock said.

Hikind pointed out that home security systems can be installed for a reasonable price.

“You can spend under $1,000,” Hikind said.

If the bill passes it would mean lost revenue for New York City. The tab for that would be $472 million; enough, the city said, to hire over 6,000 cops. Assemblyman Hikind admitted he may have to negotiate the actual amount of the tax credit. It may have to be $350 instead of $500.

Hikind said the tax credit idea is a “no-brainer” and something that lawmakers were “going to try to make happen.”

“I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with this. There’s work to be done, but this is something that just makes common sense,” he said.

A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg refused to comment on the initiative, saying the mayor wants to see the actual legislation.

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