Midwood and Borough Park are getting a network of 100 surveillance cameras, ostensibly to prevent another tragedy like the 2011 kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky. But questions remain regarding who will be monitoring the $1 million taxpayer-funded system, and whether the resources are being properly spent.

Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assemblyman Dov Hikind spearheaded The Leiby Kletzky Security Initiative, which essentially steers a $1 million grant to Agudath Israel, a Haredi umbrella organization that has lobbied officials on a range of issues. Agudath Israel will then pay SecurityWatch24, "the exclusive security partner of the Brooklyn Nets," to install and maintain the cameras.

From the AP report:

The New York Police Department referred all questions about the security system to Secure Watch 24, which didn't respond to requests for comment.

Hikind said police and volunteer police groups would have access to the cameras after a significant crime only by making formal requests to Secure Watch 24.

"God forbid something happens, there's an incident, the police will have access to the video tape," he said.

This differs from the position Hikind gave The Jewish Daily Forward last year: “The police department would always go first. Or the Shomrim and the police department could see them at the same time.”

In Kletzky's case, the Shomrim were faulted for not contacting the NYPD immediately after receiving Kletzky's father's report on his missing son.

There's also the matter of having private groups reviewing security footage paid for by public money.

"I've never heard of the city farming out surveillance power like this," NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman told the AP. "This horrific crime generated enormous pain in the community, but it's naive to think that a network of surveillance cameras is the answer to fears for the safety of our children."

Tony Herbert, a longtime community advocate in Brooklyn, said that the resources were coming to Midwood and Borough Park and not the more crime-riddled areas of Brownsville or Bed-Stuy because their officials held more sway in Albany.

"It's who you know and who you can get to pull the purse strings to come to your rescue. All we can do is jump up and down and make some noise to put a fire under the feet of our elected officials."

Assemblyman Hikind maintained that the cameras are still very necessary: "It's not that we have more crime than another community, but being that it's a Jewish area, there's probably at least the potential for more anti-Semitic acts."