Following several incidents of bias graffiti and other crime security cameras will be installed at the Cedarhurst Long Island Rail Road station near the station building later this year.
Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) urged the LIRR to put up the cameras last month in a Jan. 4 after two swastikas were found etched into the panes of the platform shelters over a two-week period. Late last year there was also an attack on a woman who was walking home after getting off a train and between 2012 and early 2013 there were a dozen incidents of bias graffiti at the station.
“I applaud the LIRR for its commitment to the people of Cedarhurst, and for its swift action to deter crimes,” Kaminsky said in a media release. “Cameras will also go a long way towards making commuters feel safe at this station."
LIRR officials said they would make every effort to expedite the installation in an attempt to prevent more incidents. “The LIRR moved quickly after each of the recent incidents at Cedarhurst station to remove offensive material, and the MTA Police Detective Division continues to investigate both incidents,” LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski said in the release. “The installation of security cameras at Cedarhurst will significantly improve our investigative efforts going forward, and hopefully serve as deterrent as well. We will continue to work with Assemblyman Kaminsky and the community to address questions and concerns as they arise."
Also working to curb these incidents, Town of Hempstead Councilmen Anthony Santino and Bruce Blakeman sent a letter on Jan. 14 to the MTa, asking for the cameras. "The immediate installation of surveillance cameras on the Cedarhurst LIRR station platform will deprive a depraced individual of the freedom to indulge in wanton destruction of public property and unchecked aggression against Jewish residents, and the sensibilities of all who detest the ugliness of hatred, and demand our able assistance to remove it from our midst," they wrote.
Cedarhurst resident Jeffrey Leb, who is also president of the Peninsula Public Library Board said he appreciates Kaminsky’s efforts. "The last two years of anti-Semitic hate graffiti on the LIRR platforms have underscored the need for increased security. I thank Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky for ensuring that the LIRR place security cameras on the platforms."