Editorial: Camera shy no more

June 5, 2013 Editorial Staff
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We are delighted that the NYPD has finally approved security cameras for Fifth Avenue in the 70s – an area where residents have been complaining repeatedly about drug activity – as well as for several other areas in southwest Brooklyn.

Funding for the Fifth Avenue cameras has been available for about a year but word came just in the last week that the Police Department would indeed install the ARGUS cameras, which provide surveillance over a five-block radius.

Residents, who have observed teens smoking pot, and crushing and snorting pills on their quiet blocks, as well as dealing drugs and even casing area homes, have been clamoring for action, the more so as summer is just around the corner.

The installation of the cameras — three on Fifth Avenue and nine more around southwest Brooklyn, out of a total of 640 cameras to be installed citywide over the next three years — will come none too soon.

For Fifth Avenue, the cameras will add an extra layer of security, with the 68th Precinct already keeping a close eye on the area, including increased coverage by precinct officers on foot and on scooters, as well as by members of the Auxiliary Police. In addition, the precinct is spearheading the creation of a civilian patrol that cops hope will act as a bridge between area residents and businesspeople and the precinct.

The civilians who participate in the patrol will provide added eyes and ears around the neighborhood, calling in anything of concern to cops who will deal with the issue.

In the same vein, the new ARGUS cameras will mean 24-7 oversight of the streets within their viewing area. They have already been proven to be effective in other areas where they have been installed, and we applaud the NYPD for utilizing the available technology to help track down perpetrators as well as deter crime in our neck of the woods, so that those who live and do business in the neighborhood can rest safe at night.

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