NYPD Installing 100 Cameras in Orthodox Jewish Areas After Uptick in anti-Semitic Attacks

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A NYPD car patrols in South Williamsburg Brooklyn on December 30, 2019 in New York City
A NYPD car patrols in South Williamsburg Brooklyn on December 30, 2019 in New York CityCredit: AFP

NEW YORK – The New York Police Department will be installing 100 new security cameras in predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn as part of the city’s response to the recent uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes.

The cameras will be installed in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park, where the city has already increased security with over 150 additional police officers patrolling the neighborhoods.

“An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “These new security cameras will increase the NYPD’s visibility in these neighborhoods, and help our officers on the ground keep New Yorkers safe.”

The first 30 cameras will be installed by March and the NYPD said it will work with the local community to determine the best locations for the remaining 70.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea explained that the cameras will “support [the NYPD’s] increased patrols and the targeted deployment of Counterterrorism officers at key locations to ensure that everyone is safe.”

Shea also called on the public to assist officers by letting police know if they see “anything suspicious.”

“Cameras are one of the most effective law enforcement tools at our disposal, particularly in regards to combating hate crimes,” Council member Chaim Deutsch, Chairman of the NYC Council’s Jewish Caucus said. “These are significant and vital resources in the fight against the hatred and anti-Semitism that has infiltrated our city.”

The NYPD has recorded 234 anti-Semitic incidents in New York City alone in 2019.  Among them were 14 assaults, five of which are felonies.

During the period between December 1 and January 6, the Anti-Defamation League has confirmed 43 anti-Semitic incidents in the state of New York alone, up from 30 incidents during the same five-week period a year ago.

These latest New York State figures include 11 reported assaults against Jews, including the stabbing in Monsey; 22 incidents of anti-Jewish harassment; and 10 acts of anti-Semitic vandalism.

The cameras are the latest measure announced in New York City to combat anti-Semitism since the wave of attacks in December, and the stabbing attack in Monsey on the seventh night of Hanukkah.

Earlier this month, the city announced the launch of Neighborhood Safety Coalitions in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park in order to “identify and address issues that drive hate-based crimes, bringing together stakeholders from across their communities.”

In addition, the city’s Department of Education announced it will be implementing hate crime awareness programming this month for middle and high schools in the three neighborhoods most affected by anti-Semitic crimes. It also plans to establish curriculum on hate crimes at middle and high schools in these neighborhoods beginning in the 2020-21 school year.