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Poll: New Yorkers Want More Surveillance Cameras

Survey Also Shows Nearly Even Split On NYPD's Stop-And-Frisk Program
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Surveillance Cameras (file / credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Surveillance Cameras (file / credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD’s eyes in the sky may be unpopular with some civil rights groups, but a recent poll found New Yorkers overwhelmingly would like to see an expansion of the number of surveillance cameras.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 82 percent of New Yorkers want to see the increased use of surveillance cameras in public spaces. The number of black and Hispanic voters polled support extra cameras by an even larger number, according to the poll.

Police commissioner Ray Kelly said he is not surprised by the poll’s findings.

“Critics say, or people are concerned about privacy. Apparently people aren’t concerned about it because they realize the genie’s out of the bottle. You go into a department store, your picture is taken 30 times. And the normal business day, probably 200 times your picture is taken. So that’s the world in which we live,” Kelly told reporters including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

Kelly added he, too, supports an expansion of the program in an effort to keep the city safe.

“We need cameras, in our judgment, to protect the city. London has 500,000 cameras, we have in our program here – which I mentioned before – 5,000 cameras. They’re smart cameras but we think they’re well positioned,” Kelly said. “Well, I wouldn’t put a number on it but I would like to see a reasonable expansion. They’re expensive, we need the money to do it. The federal government has been helpful.”

MORE: Read The Full Poll Findings (pdf)

The Quinnipiac poll also found that 62 percent of New York voters are worried that there will be another terror attack in the city.

“Most New Yorkers think another terrorist attack like the Boston Marathon bombing is likely. But overwhelmingly they’re not making any changes in their lives because of it,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Nearly 80 percent of those polled said the NYPD has been effective in combatting terrorism and Mayor Michael Bloomberg received high marks – 75 percent in favor – of his handling of terror, according to the poll.

However, the poll found New Yorkers are mixed on the controversial stop-and-frisk policy with 46 percent of voters approving and 49 percent disapproving.

“We think our cops have been effective keeping us terror-free, and we think they do a good job overall. But we’re mixed on stop-and-frisk, with a big racial split: white voters are for it; black and Hispanic voters are opposed,” Carroll said.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,082 New York City voters by telephone from May 14 to May 20. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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