State Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to install security cameras at Pomonok Houses in Flushing, a move that Pomonok Residents Association President Monica Corbett said will help to deter a rise in crime in the area.
“The crime rate in our area is bananas,” Corbett said. “People are getting robbed. There’s drug dealings, muggings and prostitution. Hopefully, the cameras will stop people from doing bad things.”
Mayersohn announced last week that she had allocated $500,000 in capital funding to install closed circuit television cameras in buildings that have been identified by the city Police Department as areas most hard hit by crime, such as building lobbies, elevators, building entrances and exits and the outside perimeters of buildings.
Pomonok Houses is run by the New York Housing Authority and has 35 buildings that house more than 4,000 people in 2,071 apartments.
“These surveillance cameras will be on 24/7, 365 days a year,” Mayersohn said. “This is an important first step to insuring the safety and security of Pomonok Houses.”
Stavisky received $200,000 that will pay for the placement of additional cameras at Pomonok.
“Safety should never be a secondary consideration,” Stavisky said. “The residents of Pomonok Houses deserve the peace of mind and security that these surveillance cameras will offer in terms of crime deterrence .%u2026 I look forward to the day when the entire complex will receive surveillance cameras.”
The $700,000 from Mayersohn and Stavisky is the first round of funding from officials, and a spokesman for Mayersohn said he expects officials like U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) and Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) to contribute money for cameras in the future. Mayersohn noted that in addition to deterring crime, the cameras will provide a record of activity that can be used in prosecuting crimes.
Pomonok has so far experienced 11 robberies, seven felony assaults, three burglaries, eight grand larcenies, one shooting, one rape and one murder this year, according to Mayersohn’s office.
Michael Simanowitz, a spokesman for Mayersohn, said the numbers may be higher than the data from the police.
“A lot of times we hear complaints in and around Pomonok, and when we talk to police there are no witnesses or it’s not being reported,” Simanowitz said
Corbett said there has been an uptick in crime at Pomonok in recent years.
“You have a lot of younger guys dropping out of school, doing nothing and hanging out there,” Corbett said. “Elderly people don’t want to go out at night. Queens College students will cut through and get mugged.”
Alongside the cameras, Corbett said better lighting could help to decrease incidents.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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