On Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams visited Newkirk Plaza to install surveillance cameras intended to thwart crime, as part of his ‘Operation Safe Shopper’ initiative.
Operation Safe Shopper, a pilot program between civic groups and the NYPD in which security cameras are installed on commercial strips to aid in crime investigation, was introduced last summer and added to Brooklyn Bridge Park last month after a string of fights broke out.
The program allocates $2,500 for the street-facing cameras at storefronts identified by local civic organizations and police, but the businesses are responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, repair, and registration of their security cameras. In the event of a police investigation, businesses agree to make the footage available to the NYPD.
“Our comprehensive approach to community policing includes our local businesses taking part in the effort to deter illegal activity and promote safer streets,” said Adams.
Almac Hardware at 2 Newkirk Plaza has been a community fixture for years and has seen its fair share of crimes near the storefront. Before being approached by the Flatbush Development Corporation, owner Javier Saez had already installed his own camera and encouraged other local businesses to do the same.
“We have already helped in the investigation of three crimes, one of them being solved when the guy got captured. It was a case involving an 80-year-old woman who got her necklace snatched off her neck,” said Saez, reported Kings County Politics.
So far, Adams has allocated grants to the Alliance for Coney Island, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Local Development Corporation (LDC) in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) in Brownsville, and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.
“Thankfully, crime is down in the 70th Precinct, but both the Newkirk Plaza area and Cortelyou Road shopping districts are no strangers to petty larceny, armed robbery and more,” said Robin Redmond, executive director of the Flatbush Development Corporation.
On Tuesday, Adams continued his tour to several other businesses set to participate in the program, including Oceanview Laundromat on Church Avenue and a Flatbush McDonald’s where a violent brawl took place in 2015.
What do you think? Do security cameras in shopping districts make you feel safer on the streets? Does it change your perception of safety in the plaza?