Hikind Puts 120 Security Cameras in Subway Stations in His District, With $1.2 Million in Special Funds

Within days of installation, NYPD arrests criminal based on video recordings
June 1, 2005

“It’s all about feeling safer and being protected when you ride the subways,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) as he unveiled his million dollar closed-circuit TV (CCTV) project. After months of coordinating with the MTA, Hikind authorized the allocation of $1.174 million of his Assembly MTA Capital Reserve Funds for the purchase of CCTVs in the subway stations on the N, D, and F lines in his district. “The cameras are up, they’re working, and now criminals and terrorists are being watched 24/7. It’s ‘Lights, Camera, Arrest’ because we’ve got it all on tape.”

All 120 state of the art cameras are digitally recording in high definition in nine stations throughout Hikind’s Brooklyn district, protecting thousands of riders a day. Hikind, New York City Transit President Laurence Reuter and Councilman Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) demonstrated the operational cameras at the 50th Street station on the D-line in Borough Park.

Each station was outfitted with anywhere between 10 and 18 cameras to provide for appropriate coverage. Additionally, there are system redundancies in place, so if vandals attempt to take out one camera, another camera will be recording it, and it will catch them in the act.

“We know trains have been targeted by terrorists, and we must keep the millions who ride the subways every day safe from criminals and terrorists,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Closed Circuit TVs are clearly a first line of defense for New Yorkers. In many cases they serve as a deterrent and are critical to the overall upgrade of security for the MTA transit system. But there’s more. The subway is a transportation hub; the NYPD is coordinating with the MTA to apprehend criminals who may flee into the subways after committing a crime. An arrest has already been made based on one of the videos taken by the new cameras. This is real reality TV at its best; it makes our city safer.

“Our goal,” said Hikind, “is to have the whole system wired. Millions of riders will be protected by these cameras.” French and British systems have made critical use of CCTVs to protect public transit since the mid 1990s. “The prevailing safety concerns make this project vital to New York City’s security.”