(Christopher Robbins) Midwood and Borough Park are getting a network of 100 surveillance cameras, ostensibly to prevent another tragedy like the 2011 kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky.But questions remain regarding who will be monitoring the $1 million taxpayer-funded system, and whether the resources are being properly spent.
Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assemblyman Dov Hikind spearheaded The Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative, which essentially steers a $1 million grant to Agudath Israel, a Haredi umbrella organization that has lobbied officials on a range of issues. Agudath Israel will then pay SecurityWatch24, "the exclusive security partner of the Brooklyn Nets," to install and maintain the cameras.
"The New York Police Department referred all questions about the security system to Secure Watch 24, which didn't respond to requests for comment.
Hikind said police and volunteer police groups would have access to the cameras after a significant crime only by making formal requests to Secure Watch 24.
"God forbid something happens, there's an incident, the police will have access to the video tape," he said."
This differs from the position Hikind gave The Jewish Daily Forward last year: “The police department would always go first. Or the Shomrim and the police department could see them at the same time.”
In Kletzky's case, the Shomrim were faulted for not contacting the NYPD immediately after receiving Kletzky's father's report on his missing son.
There's also the matter of having private groups reviewing security footage paid for by public money.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt