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Hempstead Village gets funding for security cameras, gun sensors

Village of Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall in Hempstead

Village of Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall in Hempstead Village Hall. (Jan. 5, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile

Hempstead Village will spend $400,000 on more security cameras and gunfire detection sensors in an effort to deter gun violence and make the village safer, officials said.

The funding was obtained from Nassau County with the help of legislators Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) and Robert Troiano (D-Hempstead), Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. said.

“We needed to revamp the system because the kids are constantly killing each other here,” Hall said.

ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology has been in operation since February, covering 3 square miles of the 3.7-square-mile village. The computerized system’s sensors allow police to pinpoint within seconds where gunshots are fired.

The technology, being used in a growing number of Long Island communities, is expected to bolster the village’s $2 billion downtown redevelopment plan. The village has a three-year contract with ShotSpotter Flex, based in Mountain View, Calif., for $160,000 for the first year and $120,000 for subsequent years.

At the village’s board meeting Tuesday, a Hempstead Police Department official cited three recent shootings and said ShotSpotter worked once, did not operate a second time because it was undergoing maintenance, and did not detect gunfire in the third incident.

The board also voted, 5-0, to accept a $202,000 grant from the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, to help sustain and enhance the Operation IMPACT crime reduction efforts.

Hempstead Village has one of the highest crime rates on Long Island, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

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