NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There were new questions Thursday about a program to install security cameras in the Brooklyn neighborhood where Leiby Kletzky was killed. At issue: should police have unlimited access to video of possible sex abuse and domestic violence suspects in the tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community?
The Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative, a state-funded program to blanket the Borough Park and Midwood neighborhoods with 150 security cameras, has been a little slow in getting off the ground.
“The reason they’re not up yet is because it takes time. You’re dealing with government. You’re dealing with $1 million in funds. The exact locations have to be worked out,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Borough Park.
However, camera placement isn’t the only concern about the program, which was established by Hikind and other lawmakers after the 8-year-old was abducted and murdered last summer. Some members of the community said they are concerned that certain crimes will be covered up, tapes erased.
The big worry is that the powerful Orthodox Jewish group administering the program will insist that a rabbi grant permission before authorities are notified of sex abuse or domestic violence accusations. The community is notoriously closed about airing its dirty linen in public.
“Supposing the boy comes home and he says, well, he only touched me, and by seeing the video you can see he molested him, so why should there be any stop for these records? These are public records from tax-paid money,” Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg said.
Assemblyman Hikind said he wants a protocol that meets the needs of both sides — the community and the police.
“Before a commander of a local precinct can just go look at video they have to get approval from Police Plaza,” Hikind said.
CBS 2’s Kramer brought the issue before NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Kramer: “Are you concerned that if the community has an input they will cover up certain crimes like sex abuse cases, domestic violence cases?”
Kelly: “Well, I’m just concerned that we’re not getting the film as quickly as possible.”
The commissioner also refused to endorse the idea that local police would have to get an okay from a higher up before they can see security camera footage.
Assemblyman Hikind said he hopes the system will be up and running by the end of the year.
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