BY JON CRONIN
After two and half years, Forest Park visitors can finally feel safer after security cameras were installed at select locations in the park last Friday.
Fourteen new cameras were installed at seven locations around 538 acre Forest Park. Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and state Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) allocated $250,000 towards the cameras. Miller noted that two years ago there had been some car break-ins near Myrtle Avenue, a car-jacking on Park Lane South and several attempted rapes inside the park. After that, he wanted to do something that would deter crime in the area. The incidents led to conversation with the NYC Parks Commissioner and the NYPD about how they could improve the park’s safety.
During their meeting, he and Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, then-commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, aided in determining where the cameras would be placed in the park.
“Today the park and surrounding areas will be safer because of these security cameras. My goal is to preserve the quality of life within my district,” said Miller, adding, “From Dry Harbor Playground to the Buddy Monument these cameras were strategically installed. Local residents can rest easy knowing there is an eye in the sky.”
Alex Blenkinsopp, director of communications for the Woodhaven Residents Block Association stated, “We’re extremely happy to see these cameras up.
Forest Park is very large and quite popular, which poses security challenges. Unfortunately, both minor and serious crimes have occurred in and around the park the past several years, but we’re hopeful that these cameras will help make the park safer than ever. Many thanks to Assemblyman Miller and Senator Addabbo for funding the cameras. Assemblyman Miller has pushed for years to get these cameras installed, and his efforts have paid off.”
Miller noted that it took two years and four months. “That was the process. It went through the usual process it does for state money.”
He said that each of the seven units in Forest Park has 14 cameras with the feed going directly to police central monitoring. Miller stated that the feed is not accessible to local electeds or even the local precincts. When there is a crime committed they have to request footage from a certain unit of the NYPD.
The cameras are located at:
80th Street and Myrtle Avenue
Corner of Forest Park Drive and Park Lane South
Corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Park lane South
Woodhaven Boulevard by the J turn at the Forest Park Co-ops
Myrtle Avenue across from the Victory Field track
Corner of Freedom Drive and Myrtle Avenue.
Corner of Park Lane South and Myrtle Avenue by the Buddy monument.
Reach Editor Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin.