April 9, 2014 By Michael Florio
Graffiti vandals, burglars and illegal garbage dumpers watch out.
The Steinway Street Business Improvement District is introducing a surveillance camera program later this month that will cover its entire district.
The district runs along Steinway Street–from 28th Ave to 35th Ave.
Cameras will be strategically placed along the street to maximize the amount of coverage, ensuring that all 300 businesses can be monitored.
The program will take several months to install and will cost $200,000 of BID funds to complete. Those funds are covered by the commercial landlords, who are charged an annual assessment.
Marie Torniali, the executive director of the BID, said the cameras are being installed mainly to help the BID combat quality of life crimes. The BID hopes it will be able to track down graffiti vandals as well as those people who illegally dump their trash on the street.
“Steinway Street is relatively safe,” Torniali said. “There have been break-ins that have occurred over the years,” she said, but not at a level out of the ordinary.
However, Torniali said that the cameras will help locate those people who continue to scrawl graffiti on buildings, as well as individuals who dump garbage bags along Steinway.
The BID currently hires workers to clean up garbage seven-days per week. There is also a monthly graffiti removal service to help keep on top of the problem.
However, with surveillance cameras, the BID hopes it will be able to stop these quality-of-life concerns from the get-go.
“These things are less likely to occur if people know they are being monitored,” Torniali said. “It’s about perception.”