Following the brutal murder of Leiby Kletzky, NY State funded a program to install 150 cameras in Borough Park.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind tapped Agudath Israel to administer the Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative. The group has been criticized for arguing that a rabbi must grant permission before authorities are notified of a sex abuse accusation.
The controversial stance helped fueled concerns over who might monitor the cameras in Borough Park and Midwood and whether video of crimes caught on the cameras would be shared with police.
Agudath Israel didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Daily News, but Hikind (D-Brooklyn) said police will have unrestricted access to video. “Obviously, it has to be someone in law enforcement,” he said. One political insider said the security plan “is stuck as a result of concerns with the organization running it.”
Sources said Shomrim, a volunteer civilian patrol in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, was once considered a possibility to run the camera program. The group backed out because it doesn’t have enough resources.
In a recent interview with The Jewish Daily Forward, Jacob Daskal, who coordinates Shomrim in Borough Park, said cameras work best “if it’s a private thing.”
“If it’s a public thing, it might hurt a person who doesn’t want to arrest her husband for domestic violence,” he said.
The NYPD bristled at any suggestion that footage from security cameras wouldn’t be shared with police. “We don’t think there should be any filter between the police and a victim of a crime or evidence of a crime,’’ said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman. “If there’s a crime, we’ll decide.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who has been criticized for not releasing the names of suspects in sex abuse cases in the Orthodox community, declined to comment specifically on the camera controversy.