In 2013, a man reportedly used a stun gun to rape two women in Forest Park and elected officials reacted quickly, allocating $250,000 for new security cameras. In the middle of 2016, those cameras are finally being installed, after countless other crimes including a murder, were committed in the park.
There's understandably a lot of trepidation around security cameras and the invasion of privacy that they cause. It makes some feel like they're living in a police state under the watchful eye of government. But in a public park on city-owned land, there's little ground for a private citizen to argue.
Cameras in this case can act as a deterrent and help better identify suspects who attempt to commit crimes of any nature. They will help battle minor things like graffiti and take on more serious felony crimes like murder or sexual assault.
And why were the cameras held in limbo? Red tape in the form of an arduous process that involved the NYPD submitting a form to two different state agencies. It was a process that could have allowed a countless number of crimes to occur, all because government moves at a glacial pace.
A lot of regulations and processes are important, but nearly three years is simply absurd.
The state government needs to adopt a more streamlined process for public safety issues. This isn't a request to put up a new gazebo or to re-shape the landscape of the park, but to simply add a few safety measures to a 538-acre park.
This should have taken weeks not years, but at least the cameras will finally be in place.