Smile, Southern Brooklyn — pretty soon you’ll be on NYPD camera!
Police announced plans to install 11 of its lamppost-mounted surveillance cameras in Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Coney Island during the next three years — to the applause of some and the confusion of others.
Two of the devices are scheduled to appear on Fifth Avenue at the corners of 72nd and 79th streets — where residents and neighborhood leaders have long complained of drug-dealing and violence, and called for tighter security measures.
“We would know who has the drugs if we had the cameras,” said Community Board 10 member June Johnson said at an April meeting. “Everybody knows about it, but what’s being done?”
Business leaders in Bensonhurst, where the video recorders will appear at Bay Parkway and under the El on 86th Street at 20th, 23rd, and 25th avenues, cheered the eyes in the sky, even though they said their business district didn’t have a crime problem.
“This is a good, safe area, but the cameras are good,” said Byzat Cansver, manager at Sweet Harvest Specialty Foods on 86th Street near the corner of 23rd Avenue. “If people see the cameras, maybe they get scared a little and decide not to commit crimes.”
Another camera is scheduled to go under the F Train at McDonald Avenue and Kings Highway, where longtime stakeholders, approved of the move, while also claiming the area is already safe.
“Once in a while, there’s burglars, but McDonald Avenue is mostly nice,” said David Douck, manager at Devine Kosher Bakery, which sits near the corner.
The announcement raised eyebrows in Coney Island, which will see eyes-in-the-sky at Mermaid Avenue and W. 24th Street, and Neptune Avenue and W. Eighth Street. Pastor Harvey Von Harten of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, which sits on the latter corner, said that, aside from occasional car break-ins in the church’s parking lot, there are no serious problems on the block.
“I don’t know why they picked this area, but if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about,” Von Harten said.
Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) took credit for the camera installations, and claimed they’re locations were chosen based on a police department analysis of crime rates and terrorism risks.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma