After surveillance cameras led police to Levi Aron and the remains of missing Brooklyn boy Leiby Kletzky, a bill has been introduced to encourage New York City business to install surveillance cameras.
The bill -- dubbed the 'Leiby Initiative' -- is being led by Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose district includes the Borough Park area where 8-year old Leiby was kidnapped and eventually murdered and who was active in the search for the boy. He will be introducing it along with Brooklyn Assemblyman Peter Abbate and State Senator Diane Savino.
'Leiby Initiative' will provide a real estate tax credit of $500 to New York City property owners who install and maintain surveillance cameras.
This legislation could literally save lives, Hikind is reported as saying. If there had been even more cameras along the route that Leiby took when he got lost on his way home from day camp, perhaps we might have been able to find him sooner. While nothing can ever bring Leiby back to us, this legislation will give otherwise reluctant property owners a financial motivation to install these cameras, and in so doing, help police and law enforcement find other missing children even faster.
Assemblyman Hikind and I saw firsthand how important closed circuit video was to finding the man who abducted Leiby Kletzky, Assemblyman Peter Abbate added. Now, by providing an incentive for property owners to have surveillance cameras, we hope to ensure that in the event of future kidnappings, the authorities can quickly locate and save the victim.
We cannot bring Leiby back, Abbate went on, but we must do everything possible to ensure that no other children suffer as he did. As legislators, our primary obligation is to the protection of our community, and I am proud to join Assemblyman Hikind in fighting to ensure that New York City stays vigilant and is always safe for our children.
It was an 'amateur sleuth' who uncovered security camera footage that ultimately led police to Levi Aron and the the boy's remains.
Daily News reported the story of Borough Park resident Yaakov German, who spent Tuesday morning persistently seeking out footage from security cameras along Leiby's presumed route - sometimes resorting to tears in order to persuade business owners to hand over footage.
When German and his son - who was Leiby's schoolteacher - did not see the boy on any of the footage they uncovered along that route, German came to the conclusion that Leiby must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
After more searching, he eventually found footage from Variety Corner at 44th St. and 14th Av. that showed the Leiby passing by at about 5:15 pm. This helped to determine the boy's modified route, and German located another security camera image of Leiby two blocks away.
Eventually German was led to a car dealership that had recently installed new security cameras. That footage - shwoing Levi Aron speaking with Leiby and leaving a dentist's office - is what ultimately led police to identify the suspect and track him down.
Every step of the way, German was feeding the information to detectives via a NYPD liasion.
German was outside of Aron's home after police made the grisly discovery - an outcome he could not have imagined.
I had a feeling I was going to bring him back alive, German said. I told my son, 'Go to sleep; tomorrow morning I'll have him alive.'
Senator Diane Savino hopes that 'Leiby's Initiative' will serve as a deterrent to the evil that sometimes lurks within our otherwise safe communities.