Shomrim Don't Want Police To See Security Video

In Leiby's Area, Patrol Wants To Keep Some Crimes Quiet

Keep Lid on Crime? Leaders of the Orthodox Shomrim patrol do not want police to have access to security video in Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood. They fear authorities may prosecute domestic crimes the community would rather keep quiet.
josh nathan-kazis
Keep Lid on Crime? Leaders of the Orthodox Shomrim patrol do not want police to have access to security video in Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood. They fear authorities may prosecute domestic crimes the community would rather keep quiet.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published August 08, 2012, issue of August 17, 2012.
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Publicly funded security cameras planned for Brooklyn’s heavily Orthodox Boro Park neighborhood should not be directly accessible to the police, said the leader of the community’s influential volunteer security patrol, because this would make it harder to keep certain crimes within the community.

Jacob Daskal, coordinator of the Boro Park Shomrim, said that a centralized system linked to the police would make it too easy for them to make arrests in domestic violence cases.

Read the Forward’s full coverage of the anniversary of Leiby Kletzky’s murder

“The camera is very good for the community, but if it’s a private thing,” Daskal said. “If it’s a public thing it might hurt a person who doesn’t want to arrest her husband for domestic violence.”

Daskal was referring to a hypothetical situation in which a wife sought to protect her husband by telling police that a reported domestic violence incident had not actually occurred. If a centralized system of cameras easily accessible to the police existed and the incident were recorded, police would arrest the husband regardless of his spouse’s wish. On the other hand, police would need a court order to obtain tape from a camera under private control, and an abusive husband could be kept out of jail if the police failed to pursue the case to that step.

Backers of the video surveillance system, named for Leiby Kletzky, the 8-year-old Orthodox boy murdered a year ago in Boro Park, say it will provide blanket surveillance of Boro Park and Midwood, another Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind announced the $1 million state-funded initiative in May. Only one of the planned 150 cameras has been installed so far. Officials said at the time that the system would be fully installed by November.


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