Aims To Boost Security Around Area
After a rash of sexual assaults last year, security cameras will soon be installed in Forest Park, two local lawmakers announced during Community Board 9′s monthly meeting last Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Kew Gardens.
Assemblyman Mike Miller and State Sen. Joseph Addabbo secured $250,000 to install 14 cameras at seven locations, a representative from Miller’s office said Tuesday night.
Miller and Addabbo worked with the Parks Department, the 102nd Precinct, Board 9 and local civic associations to determine where the cameras would be placed, Miller told the Times Newsweekly.
The most up-to-date proposed locations are:
– Park Lane South and Woodhaven Boulevard;
– 80th Street and Myrtle Avenue;
– Woodhaven Boulevard near the Parks Department’s visitor center;
– Forest Parkway and Park Lane South;
– Freedom Drive and Myrtle Avenue;
– the Buddy Monument (Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South); and
– the Forest Park Bandshell.
Miller said he is hoping the cameras will be installed by the summertime, but the actual time table for installation is out of his hands.
The $250,000 appropriation has to clear state agencies before the NYPD gets the funds to install the cameras, Miller explained.
The push for higher security came after a string of six sexual assaults rocked the park and surrounding communities over the last two years.
The most recent attack happened Aug. 26, 2013, when an assailant attacked a 69-year-old woman with a stun gun and raped her.
Board leaders make up
It appears that feuding Board 9 Chairperson James Coccovillo and District Manager Mary Ann Carey have buried the hatchet.
The two stood at the center of friction that paralyzed the board in recent months.
Coccovillo and several board members tried unsuccessfully to fire Carey in June of 2013. Instead the board voted to put her on probation, send her to remedial technology training and monthly evaluations.
Tensions flared in November when members of the board tried to remove longtime member Sam Esposito over comments he made that some members found to be antisemitic. Esposito claimed he was on the chopping block for supporting Carey during the vote to oust her earlier that year.
Then, in January, Carey claimed that Coccovillo was “harassing” her and her staff by micro-managing the board’s office. She made the allegations during the board’s January meeting, though Coccovillo was absent.
But, last Tuesday night, the pair indicated their relationship may be on the mend.
“If I made a statement, statements that were inappropriate, if I said anything that offended the board or the chair, I apologize,” Carey said.
Coccovillo responded that Carey’s mea culpa was a “long time coming.”
For now, he said, the two will focus on serving the board and the greater community.
“Mary Ann and I have agreed to put all past issues and concerns behind us and that it is the CB 9 community issues and concerns that we are here for,” Coccovillo said.
Community Board 9 generally meets on the second Tuesday each month at 7:45 p.m. at locations around its confines. For more information, call the board’s Kew Gardens office at 1-718-286-2686.