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Security Cameras Coming to Forest Park After Sex Attacks, Assemblyman Says

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | December 17, 2013 10:11am
 Sketches of the suspect were posted around the park after the most recent sexual assault in August.
Sketches of the suspect were posted around the park after the most recent sexual assault in August.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — A spate of sex assaults in Forest Park is causing lawmakers and the NYPD to install security cameras, Assemblyman Michael Miller said. 

Miller and State Sen. Joseph Addabbo allocated $250,000 earlier this year for cameras to be placed in the park. In October Miller asked the NYPD for help, he said.

Initially, the NYPD told Miller they could not guarantee the allocated funds would be used to put the technology in Forest Park, the assemblyman said. He began speaking to the Parks Department last week to find a way to guarantee their placement.

But on Monday, the NYPD unexpectedly agreed to use the funds to place cameras in seven locations in the park, he said.

"[The cameras will] serve as a deterrent, and to identify suspects in case a crime is committed," he said.

The money will be used to buy cameras with 360-degree, fish-eye lenses, installed atop poles, Miller said. The cameras will retain the recordings and stream the images to police.

The NYPD did not immediately provide additional details.

Locations for the cameras are being looked into now, with the goal of installing them at the main entrances to the 500-acre park, as well as in the vicinity of the Forest Park Carousel, playgrounds, parking lots, sport fields and main trails, Miller said.

Police continue to search for a man who they said has been linked to six sexual assaults in and around the park in the past two years. The most recent attack happened on Aug. 26 when a 69-year-old woman was attacked with a stun gun and raped, police said.

On March 29, a 23-year-old jogger was grabbed from behind, Tasered and then sexually assaulted, police said.

Authorities said they believe the suspect, who attacked for the first time in March 2011, also assaulted a 13-year-old girl.