East Tremont Avenue will be getting eight NYPD security cameras, which Throggs Neck Business Improvement District Executive Director Bob Jaen said will complete his three-segment plan for the corridor: to illuminate, beautify and secure.
The cameras cost $320,000, which state Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, a Throggs Neck Democrat, secured from the State and Municipal Facilities grant program at the request of the BID. They will be installed and operated on the Throggs Neck commercial corridor between Bruckner Boulevard and Harding Avenue at unannounced locations based on crime data.
The state Assemblymember said at a May 6 press conference to announce the acquisition that the cameras will help ensure that “anybody coming in and anybody trying to get out of Throggs Neck, if your plans are nefarious, if they’re criminal in nature, we’re going to catch you.”
The NYPD Argus cameras are named after the “Argus” giant in Greek mythology, which has a hundred eyes.
“The eyes are there,” Benedetto said. “Crooks, stay out of Throggs Neck! Stay out of New York City completely, but stay out of Throggs Neck because we’re looking at you with these cameras.”
The BID has been paying for private security company Madison Security to patrol the corridor on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Jaen told the Bronx Times.
“Working together, we will make this area of NYC the safest place to live, shop, and do business,” Jaen said of the collaboration with Benedetto to secure the cameras.
The 45th Precinct police officers patrol the second-largest precinct in New York City but are under-resourced, according to the lawmaker, who said there are a “handful” of police cars patrolling the area.
“That’s where these cameras will come in,” Benedetto said. “They’ll provide another set of eyes on our well-trafficked areas and free up some of our police officers to address other outstanding community issues.”
Benedetto secured funding for cameras in Westchester Square in 2009 and Co-op City in 2021.
The BID advocated for new street lights that were installed on the East Tremont corridor last summer and improved illumination by almost 40% after the lights were found to be inadequate, Jaen said.
The neighborhood, which Jaen said “needed a facelift,” also got new trees and tree pits after negotiating with the city parks department. The BID spent $72,000 to have tree guards installed around the new pits, Jaen said. The installation and landscaping will be completed next month.
Advocacy for the cameras was not in response to specific incidents or a rise in crime, Jaen said.
“My whole idea of how our community should be for people to come from outside the community: to shop here, to eat here, to come and spend social time here, you have to make it safe,” he said of the BID’s efforts. “You have to make it beautiful and you have to make it where people can see where they’re going.”
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