Today, New York State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I-Brooklyn) and New York State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D/WFP-Jackson Heights) announced an outreach and educational initiative designed to alert all New York residents and businesses to a new Voluntary Video Surveillance Registry (VVSR) that will be used to prevent and combat terrorism and crime. On January 28, 2013, this landmark legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Golden and Assembly Member DenDekker, became the law in New York State. The innovative legislation - A. 9380B in the New York State Assembly, and S.7775 in the New York State Senate - establishes a voluntary database or registry that will contain the location and contact information of owners of closed-circuit security cameras in New York State.
Under the new initiative, homeowners, business owners, and other parties will be given the opportunity to provide the state registry with the camera’s geographical location, as well as contact information for the camera owner. Because law enforcement and crime prevention activities are time sensitive, so is the new registry. Before the database was established, police officers and other law enforcement professionals had to go door-to-door, requesting the location of the cameras (and their contents) from employees, superintendents, landlords, and home owners. This innovative program provides law enforcement with easier access to this vital information.
“Following the horrific events in Boston last month, and the brutal murder of young Leiby Kletzky in 2011, making video surveillance more readily available to police and homeland security is a no-brainer,” said State Senator Martin J. Golden. With this legislation, we give businesses and home owners the opportunity to take part in directly protecting their communities. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law. I want to thank Assemblyman DenDekker for taking the lead on this in the Assembly, and I am proud to have sponsored it in the Senate.”
“I’m very proud of this legislation,” Mr. DenDekker said, “as well as the outreach and educational program that accompanies it. This legislation will help keep New Yorkers safe without being overly intrusive. Compliance with this legislation is entirely voluntary. There is absolutely no obligation for homeowners, business owners, or any other parties to participate in this program, but in the interests of assisting law enforcement in keeping us all safe, it is highly recommended. In view of the tragic events that recently occurred in Boston, and the significant role played by video surveillance in identifying and apprehending the suspects, we are now, more than ever, glad that New York State is again leading the way in keeping us safer through a voluntary partnership between homeowners, business owners, and law enforcement.”
In order to provide better protection, the location of the cameras, as well as details on those who own and operate them, are not discoverable under New York State Freedom of Information Laws (FOIL), unless requested by subpoena.
“In terms of making New York State a safer place to raise a family and start a business, this legislation was very much needed,” Assemblyman DenDekker concluded. “It’s our belief that it will make New Yorkers safer by allowing the state’s respective police departments to do their jobs in a more timely fashion. I’d like to thank Speaker Sheldon Silver, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senator Golden, Commissioner Jerome Hauer of the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and my colleagues in the legislature for their part in making this public safety milestone the first of its kind in the nation.”
“I ask all local businesses in New York State to join us in the fight to combat terrorism and crime. Our community is a family, and we must work together to protect each other. This database will make our city and state a safer place to live, work, and raise a family,” stated Senator Golden.
The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has established a link on its website that will allow homeowners, business owners, and others to sign up for the Voluntary Video Surveillance Registry. It can be accessed here: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/video-surveillance/ The link is also available on Assemblyman DenDekker’s website at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Michael-G-DenDekker
For more information, please call Senator Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or Assembly Member DenDekker’s office at (718) 457-0384.
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New York State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I) is a former New York City police officer whose district includes parts of Brooklyn.
New York State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker is a former member of the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYCOEM). In preparing this legislation, he drew upon his personal and professional experiences as a member of NYCOEM during and after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.