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30 Police Cameras Coming to Forest Hills and Rego Park

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 14, 2013 3:10pm
 The cameras will be placed around Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hills.
30 Police Cameras Coming to Central Queens
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QUEENS — Around 30 high-tech police cameras will soon be placed in busy and higher-crime areas around Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill, said Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz Tuesday.

The move comes on the heels of a series of burglaries and gunpoint robberies, which have occurred around the Forest Hills and Rego Park area earlier this year.

Koslowitz, who represents the 29th district, said she allocated a total of about $1 million over two fiscal years to pay for 30 high-tech "Argus" cameras which have two fish-eye 360 degree lenses attached to a box installed to a pole.

Funding for 17 other cameras was allocated for nearby District 24, which covers Briarwood, Pomonok as well as parts of Rego Park and Forest Hills, earlier this year.

The cameras retain the recording, while streaming images to the Police Department at the same time.

The locations, Koslowitz said, were picked by the NYPD, depending on the needs.

The installation of the first 15 cameras will begin within the next few weeks around the Rego Center mall area, Koslowitz said.

Koslowitz, who said last week she had met with some of the victims of the recent burglaries and robberies in Forest Hills, added that there should also be more lighting in the area.

“You walk those streets at night, they are very dark,” Koslowitz said referring to an incident in June, in which three women were robbed at gunpoint around midnight on Slocum Crescent in Forest Hills Gardens, as they arrived home after having dinner at an Austin Street restaurant.

Two robbers approached them, showed a gun and stole jewelry, money and cell phones, according to cops.

Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, a private organization which runs the area of Forest Hills Gardens, did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“Crime goes up [in the area] periodically,” said Koslowitz, recalling when a couple was shot in Forest Hills Gardens by serial killer David Berkowitz. “But it’s still a very safe precinct.”

Frank Gulluscio, District Manager of Community Board 6, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park, said the installation of the cameras is good news.

“People are concerned [about burglaries and robberies], there is no doubt about that,” Gulluscio said. “We hope that cameras in the precinct will really get this taken care of.”

Overall, crime in the 112th Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park, is down 3 percent this year.

Burglaries are currently the only major felony crime that is up in the area (34 percent), according to the police statistics for the period ending Aug. 4.

The 29 Council District also encompasses a portion of the 102 Precinct, which includes Richmond Hills and Kew Gardens. Overall crime is that precinct is up almost 8 percent this year.