Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, has introduced a bill to encourage city stores’ use of surveillance cameras, in response to the gruesome murder of leibby Kletzky, nine year old boy. The crime was solved by tracing the boy’s fateful walk home from school, using shopkeepers’ surveillance cameras. These videos linked Leiby with Levi Aron, the murderer.
Under the so-called “Leiby Initiative,” Hikind wants city store owners who install and maintain surveillance cameras to get an annual $500 real estate tax credit. In the interest of promoting passenger safety on the subway, Hikind had previously allocated $1.2 million in 2005 in MTA capital reserve funds for the purchase and installation of 120 closed-circuit television cameras on nine subway stations on the N, D, and F lines in response to the train bombings in Madrid and London.
Is it enough of an incentive? No. Will a $500 tax credit encourage shopkeepers to install and maintain costly units? No.
While surveillance cameras are a necessity in city teeming with hundreds of thousands of children, the burden of safety should rest on the city. The issue of privacy has long been argued on the rights of installing cameras on city street lights for traffic law enforcement. Instead of paying store owners $500 a piece, and then praying that these devices are up to par in case of emergency, and that these people can be contacted on moments’ notice… the city should work from the top down. Surveillance cameras must be installed on every street light. A central database should be maintained with archives, indefinitely, in an effort to enforce public safety.
In case of an emergency, the city would not need to rely on amateur sleuths like Yakov German to piece together measly footage obtained from mostly non-functioning systems.
When Aron was arrested, people were shocked, exclaiming, “but this man has no criminal record, how can this be?” Of course he has no criminal record! He lives in a Jewish community where the Rabbis have issued very tough statements about reporting ‘thy brother’ to authorities, no matter how huge the crime is. Therefore, we have molesters walking the streets, pedophiles being welcomed into synagogues, and perverts chasing children, without any accountability.
The Jewish community needs an overhaul and it will not happen from within. The fractured leadership has led to outrageous rulings on reporting sexual abuse. We the citizens of New York, and parents across America, plead to the government to allocate its millions for public safety. Give it to your contractors, and maintain the surveillance footage yourself, to ensure clear access in the event of an emergency.
THIS should be the Leiby Law – a metropolis that is densely populated with more than 30 children per 100 apartments per street shall be outfitted with surveillance cameras on each street light. These devices shall be maintained by the city’s law enforcement public safety division with equal access to archives indefinitely by all law enforcement officials.
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