Looking forward to a safer Fifth Avenue

The issue of safety was on the table as members of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District gathered for their annual meeting at the Bay Ridge Manor on Tuesday, June 11.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile talked about the long-awaited arrival of NYPD-issued security cameras that are coming to Fifth Avenue at the intersections of 72ndth and 82nd Streets. He said that the 68th Precinct is one of the few in the city that do not have any of these cameras.

“We are down 6,000 officers from a few years ago. One way to enhance the ability of the 68 is to fund security cameras in the area,” Gentile explained. “Precincts like ours with a lower crime rate tend to get his harder [when it comes to budget cuts].”

Gentile explained how the “high tech, virtually indestructible” devices work. There are two cameras in a box that can focus on four different directions, so not only will they be able to see Fifth Avenue but down the side streets, as well.

“So if someone is in the middle of the street and up the block, you will be able to zoom in to see what is in their pockets,” Gentile said. “It increases the deterrent effect to those who are out there doing what they are not supposed to.”

Gentile said that he plans to allocate $180,000 in next year’s budget to put more of these cameras throughout the 68th and 62nd Precincts.

Patrick Condren, executive director of the BID, said that he recently met with Chief Owen Monaghan, the newly appointed commanding officer of Patrol Brooklyn Borough South, who said officers from surrounding precincts are in favor of the cameras.

“They are happy that they are coming,” he said.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, members of the BID said they would look into painting bus stops with yellow paint, as well as fire hydrants, contending that it will make the avenue look cleaner and deter parking in bus stops.

Also for the upcoming holiday season, members said they were working on getting new decorative lights and providing entertainment.

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