NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The installation of 320 surveillance cameras in Brooklyn is under way.
As part of the the Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative, the cameras — four each in 80 units — are being placed in Borough Park, Midwood and Flatbush.
The cameras were purchased using a $1 million state grant, are being installed by private contractor SecureWatch24 and monitored exclusively by the NYPD, said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, who pushed for the cameras.
“It’s going to give the community a great sense of additional security and a message to the bad guys: If you do anything in our community, you’ll be on camera, and we’ll be able to get you,” Hikind told 1010 WINS.
The initiative is named after Leiby Kletzky, an 8-year-old boy who was kidnapped and murdered in the Kensington section of Borough Park after getting lost while walking home from a school day camp. Levi Aron was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for killing the boy.
“This is in memory of Leiby Kletzky, the young boy who went missing and was only discovered as a result of a (private) video camera,” Hikind told WCBS 880.
The installation of the cameras has drawn some criticism because they are being placed in a section of Brooklyn known for its low crime and large Hasidic Jewish population.
“Cameras are much needed here in our community,” Brownsville community activist Tony Herbert told CBS 2 in September.
Hikind, however, said he supports expanding cameras to communities throughout the five boroughs.
“Should everyone else have them? Absolutely,” he said. ” … It’s a good thing for everybody. And a crime committed in any neighborhood is a crime that affects the community, and these surveillance cameras will make such a difference.”
Hikind also dismissed concerns about people’s privacy being violated.
“We’re talking about public streets, people walking in streets,” he said. “And I think people have an expectation when you’re walking in the street that you may be recorded; someone may take a picture. But we’re only interested in the bad guys. We’re only interested in those who commit crimes.”
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