Something's Fishy on City Island

Submitted by ub on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 17:23

Believe it or not, it has been nearly five years since City Islanders were first told about a high resolution camera surveillance project, but it appears that foot-dragging continues to plague this $100K state funded program.

Then, back on 4/13/2012 NY Senator Jeff Klein held a news conference, along with with members of the City Island Chamber, as well as those from the Civic Association to proudly announce that 15 cameras would soon be installed on City Island. The Senator's s Web site posted the following press release...

” 15 Cameras to be Installed Throughout Community - CITY ISLAND, BRONX, N.Y.- State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), announced the long-awaited installation of crime-deterring cameras along City Island Avenue.  
The project, which is through the City Island Chamber of Commerce, was funded from a $100,000 capital grant secured by Klein in past years. 
Klein’s office worked with the Chamber and the 45th Precinct to identify hotspots for vandalism and then began to approach property owners in those areas to allow for a camera to be installed on their property free of charge.   The cameras will digitally record during evening hours onto a hard drive system, only to be accessed by the Police and Chamber merchants should a criminal incident occur.
City Island is a small community, but a major tourist destination that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The community produces about $4.5 million each year in state and local sales tax, according to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

“I’m thrilled to be moving forward with this important project for the City Island community,” said Senator Klein “While City Island is a small community, they have suffered from vandalism, particularly on vacant properties. Before a vandal strikes again, they better think twice, or risk getting caught on film.”
The 15 cameras will be installed by SiSoft Communications, a vendor selected by the Chamber that  has extensive experience with exterior surveillance at other Bronx locations including the Third Avenue HUB.  SiSoft is also slated to begin work on the Westchester Square region in the coming months.

The Senator also acknowledged Skip Giacco, the President of the City Island Chamber of Commerce, as being the driving force behind getting this project to completion and Captain Russell Green, Commanding Officer of the 45th Precinct as being instrumentally helpful in assisting with selecting camera locations.
“A clean and safe environment is both tourist friendly and good for business.  Furthermore it benefits our neighbors, the residents of City Island.” from Skip Giacco of the City Island Chamber of Commerce.
“When it comes to crime or safety the Senator has always been extremely responsive” said Bill Stanton, President of the City Island Civic Association. “While we strongly believe these cameras will deter crime the strongest deterrent against crime will be the awareness and good will of City Islanders.”
The project is scheduled to be complete during the month of June and the start of the summer season.
Those with any questions are encouraged to call Senator Klein’s Office at (718) 822-2049. "

But that was then and this is now - Today NY Senator Klein told reporters that as a result of recent news reports concerning politicians getting involved with bribery scandals, kickbacks and all sorts of illegal and unethical practices, NY legislators are facing additional controls on various projects and how taxpayer funded programs are being spent.

According Senator Klein and The City Island Chamber President, the truth is that three cameras have actually been installed, but because of the state bureaucracy, these non working cameras along with others will not become operational for about another 18 weeks.

Meanwhile, there have been a string on break ins and burglaries on City Island and some business owners are wondering why is this taking so long?

This is how WABC TV 7 covered the story last night on their 11P Newscast:
3 burglaries, promised security cameras not installed

For well over a year now, City Island Images has been streaming live video 24/7 from this location @ Focal Point Gallery on City Island avenue and sharing these images for free at no cost to the taxpayers and as a public service from by City Island Images for less that $1K. You do the math, the chamber plans to spend $100K on 15 cameras. With NYC in the cross-hairs of terrorists, keep a sharp eye for anything suspicious.

City Island Images is now seeking public support to raise $15K, so we can install more cameras along City Island avenue. Please donate any amount you can using the link!

You may donate via the PAYPAL link to the right, or by sending a check or money order.

City Island Images
PO Box 147 City Island Station
NYC, NY 10464

Photo: Ron Terner

If you, or anyone else wishes to contact NY Senator Klein, City Island Chamber, or City Island Civic Association to express your opinion, you can respond below, contact City Island Images via email or USPS, or you may wish to use the following contact information: