Smile, criminals. You’re on camera.
Borough President Helen Marshall has allocated $2 million to install NYPD surveillance cameras in 57 locations throughout Queens to help fight crime.
“These new cameras will give police more eyes on the street,” Marshall said. “They will be a fantastic deterrent to crime and greatly help our police to solve crimes and apprehend offenders. After all, the camera doesn’t lie!”
In announcing the initiative, Marshall noted the role of cameras in finding suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. She said she hopes the extra surveillance will help reduce gun violence in the borough.
The Argus cameras, funded through the Fiscal Year 2013 Capital Budget, are expected to be installed within the next 12 months.
NYPD officials selected the future camera locations. The placements are based not only on crime data, but also on other factors such as the best spot for viewing and counterterrorism risk assessment, according to a borough president spokesperson. When factoring in crime data, violent offenses were given top consideration.
The cameras will be installed in 11 of Queens’ 16 precincts, including eight along Roosevelt Avenue.
Locals had mixed opinions about Argus.
“I’ve been living here for several years now and I think crime is getting worse, so I think the cameras are a good idea,” said Maevis Trenton. “It’s not safe to walk around late at night anymore, and if people knew they were being watched maybe they would think twice before doing something stupid.”
“Compared to other parts of the city, I think it’s pretty safe here,” said Jordan Brown. “I don’t think the cameras are necessary in this neighborhood, but [...] I don’t have anything against the idea either.”
Maqueda Tate was wary of the extra surveillance.
“I don’t think it’s right for the police to be watching us all the time,” she said. “I understand that it’s for our own safety, but I don’t think there needs to be so many cameras getting installed.”
-With additional reporting by Johann Hamilton
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