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New Police Camera Placement Discussed at City Council

Highlights from Tuesday night's meeting.

Glen Cove resident Charles Bozzello approached the podium at last night's city council meeting to question the placement of a new camera fixture on Glen Cove Avenue.

"It concerns me that there was no announcement or prior notice about this. They kind of just popped up," he said.

The camera fixture, which features two cameras directed to both the north and south lanes, was revealed to be owned by the Glen Cove Police Department, and is equipped with license plate reading capabilities.

Mayor Ralph Suozzi said he was not aware of the specific cameras, though he said he is continuing to push for a U.S. Department of Justice grant which would fund camera surveillance in the city's parking garages. He also said that the camera systems could possibly extend to the stretch of businesses along School Street and Glen Street.

The mayor noted the existence of several other cameras already installed, including one on Craft Avenue which he said has been successful in deterring crime.

In other business, the council agreed to consulting services with Glen Cove firm M.A.J.D. Consulting, Inc. in regard to the operation and maintenance of the Municipal Water Department.

Freshman councilman Reginald Spinello also called for more accountability from public employees using the city's fleet of 253 vehicles, including police cars, dump trucks and fire trucks. 

"We're settling a lot of claims through our attorney due to car accidents," he said.

The public hearing was closed concerning the  on Glen Street, School Street and Bridge Street, though Suozzi said the topic would resurface as more options are explored.

Greta February 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM
There is no end to the snooping that the police want to do. even if not tied to monetary gains for justification the police now seem to have a insatiable appetite for gathering personal details of its citizens which are not necessary. this is some form of governmental control obsession. cops are happy to show a video tour of all the information they can capture, gather and share with their inner circle friends and relatives strictly to feel superior to others. Time to turn the cameras on the cops, watching their hours on the job playing on the internet in their cars, texting and phoning their girlfriends and wives, watching big brother video screens in the pct showing everyone's activities who is out in public. all this enhances their one-up position to the public which they look down on. yes, one could say it helps look out for the bad guys and helps in that pursuit but it is an invasion to the rest of us law abiding citizens to be watched all the time. friggin creepy is what it is. and all this by officers who are not necessarily motivated by protecting others but motivated by power and money. Some officers are mentally balanced but there are a few who are into the "gotcha" game and will thrive on the voyeurism of spying on people. In Michigan they now have police devices that can and will suck the contents of your cellphone out, contacts, pictures, texts, without a warrant and for no reason if they feel like it. all for the entertainment of the cops. sick.
Mr. Smith February 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Who exactly confirmed these cameras belong to the Police Department? Was a police department official present at the meeting to confirm this? Mayor Suozzi himself said he didn't know what the cameras were for so who did?
Tom Terrific February 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM
What concerns me greatly, if I'm reading this article correctly, is that the cops have placed camera fixtures in a specific area that the Mayor is not aware of. By what authority have they done this if not given consent by the governing body of the City of Glen Cove?
Kristina S. Heuser February 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Thanks for the article, Mike. I was sorry that I could not attend last night's meeting. You do an important public service by keeping the residents abreast of what's happening in the City. The installation of the cameras without it ever being discussed at a council meeting begs the question of what else the City does without anybody's knowledge. And Reggie (Spinello) also brings an important piece of information to the public's attention (which we otherwise would not have known about, no doubt). If the City is spending money we don't have on insurance claims, maybe its time to re-think which City employees are given City-owned cars to drive. Surely, those cars should be restricted to use for City business only, and many of them should be sold. I see many cars, including the Mayor's, being driven around when it is not business hours and for what appears to be personal use. I think the issue of the cars cries out for a follow-up, investigative story.
Mike Bruschini February 15, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Thank you Kristina, and you may have a point - though it was also discussed that many employees - such as those in the Water Department, often work weekends and nights, and the nature of the job requires driving back and forth to work sites. This is one example, the Mayor is often - or almost always present at accident/crises that pop up around the year.
Mike Bruschini February 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM
DPW Workers were present at the meeting who knew of the placement, and that they did belong to the Police Department. The Mayor's office confirmed today.
Vin NY February 16, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Mayor not knowing? Thanks Reggie for wanting accountability. It's about time we have common sense on the council. Let's start with the Glen Cove truck that's always parked at a home on Elm Ave at all hours. And in front of and blocking a stop sign. Brilliant.
james February 16, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Yes a police officer climbed a pole and placed cameras on a it. The mayors office controls the police budget. Also, the police don't want cameras. Quite the contrary. Hey marsha the police dept doesn't decide on big money projects like cameras. The mayors office does. Get your facts straight and don't jump on any opportunity to go after the cops. If you got mugged I bet you would be the first cry baby to complain that there is no cameras. What a thankless job cops have.
Mr. Smith February 16, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Has the Police Department commented on these cameras and their function? I'm well aware that the department has a car with plate readers but have heard nothing about plate readers anywhere else. Where exactly on Glen Cove Avenue are these cameras?
Mr. Smith February 16, 2012 at 03:59 AM
I have looked into this in the past as a concerned citizen and really didn't find much of a problem here. Claims that occur due to damage by city vehicles has always for the most part been while that vehicle was being used for a city function. There are only a few vehicles within the city fleet allowed for personal use the mayors included in that short list. In those cases these vehicles are assigned that way due to the nature of the persons position in which a 24/7 response might be needed. This is really a non issue IMO.
Mr. Smith February 16, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Just a thought, it is possible the Department of Homeland Security may have asked for or even installed these cameras for some reason. With the way that department runs I'm not surprised the Mayor was uninformed about it.
Greta February 16, 2012 at 07:17 AM
James - one can appreciate the services of the police but still feel they have too much power to collect information (spy) without a real need for it. with all the new tech gadgets coming on the market control over the privacy of ordinary citizens is becoming tighter and tighter. It's starting to feel Gestapo-like! How could there be police monitored cameras without the Mayor knowing about it? That doesn't frighten you? The "car" isn't bringing in enough money (tickets)?
Glenn Howard February 16, 2012 at 08:22 PM
The cameras are across from the Dance Studio and within City limits but on a County road and on a public utility pole. that means that the county, the utility company and perhaps ( but not necessarily) the City had to all agree that this could be done. The camera are conected to a large box that provides power and relays information to whomever is in charge of these units. The main issue is that every car (if these are plate readers) that goes by is noted as to time and date meaning that someone knows your daily movements on that section of the road. That data is logged and stored and for how long and why? The City has a car for the purpose of tracking out of date plates and so on, and the officer can pull cars over. This camera does not do anything but record and therefore why is it needed? for what is the information used? Certainly not as a crime deterent unlike the video cameras. Not as a Speed or Red Light Ticketing device. And why at this exact location? It would make more sense on Glen Cove Road.
james February 16, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Does it really feel Gestapo like? I don't get that feeling at all. I think you are exagerating and have a different agenda.
cc April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM
When has anything made sense in the city. How about catching all the cars that make U-turns on Glen and School street?

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