The first new camera at the Long Beach Long Island Rail Road station was installed Monday as part of a plan to increase security and public safety.
The camera overlooks a bicycle stand behind the station where bikes have been reported stolen in the past, officials said.
City Council Vice President Anthony Eramo said there would also be an increase in police patrols around the station during morning and evenings rush hours and irregularly throughout the rest of the day.
“Public safety is paramount,” Eramo said.
Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said there will be 18 to 23 cameras at the station that will cover walkways. He said the cameras are an attempt to deter bicycle thefts and loitering, which have been an issue at the station for years.
“We have a zero tolerance policy effective immediately,” Tangney said.
He also said the police department has an “ongoing dialogue” with Metropolitan Transportation Authority about changes they can make to improve public safety.
The MTA had cameras at the Long Beach station already, but they could only be accessed in Jamaica, Queens. The new cameras are on a different server, also installed Monday, and will be monitored by Long Beach police, according to Tangney.
Allison Blanchette, executive director of Long Island Streets, a nonprofit group that advocates for cyclists and pedestrians, said she’s been working with the police commissioner for about six years trying to get cameras installed.
“It’s a Long Beach rite of passage to have your bike stolen here,” Blanchette said. “It’s such a normal part of living here, and that’s wrong.”
David Fraser, Long Beach city clerk, said the cameras cost about $20,000, half of which was paid for by the state. The rest comes from a capital plan to put cameras on all city facilities over the course of 10 years. Some cameras have already been installed at the city’s boardwalk and in City Hall.
Eramo said the city is also working with the MTA to improve the appearance of Long Beach station so visitors arriving by train get a better first impression of the city.