Turn To Tara: Three-quarters of Westchester’s train stations lack cameras

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YONKERS -

A five-month long Turn To Tara investigation has revealed that almost 75 percent of Westchester's train stations are lacking security cameras.

The county has a total of 44 Metro-North train stations, with about 170,000 daily riders.

News 12 asked the MTA for a list of stations equipped with cameras and the criteria used to select their locations, but it refused both requests, citing “security concerns.” It gave the same explanation after denying a series of Freedom of Information requests.

The News 12 legal team filed an appeal on the basis that the cameras are already visible to the naked eye and would and could not reveal any critical security protocols.  That appeal was also denied.

News 12 decided to drive out to each Westchester stop and spotted cameras at only 10 of the 44 stations.  Another two had the cameras only in the ticketing area.

Turn To Tara then submitted dozens of police record requests to find out how many times departments have responded to each location.  The database compares locations, crime and median income.

 

Scarsdale, one of the wealthiest and lowest crime areas in the county has a camera, but the six lowest income areas do not. News 12 also found out the stop with the largest number of police responses is Mamaroneck, and it does not have a camera.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who lives in Scarsdale, says she believes the cameras should be everywhere and that not having cameras is a safety concern.

Paulin is the chair of the state committee that has oversight over the MTA.  She says after learning about the shortage of cameras at Westchester’s train stations, she is going to take action.

Jeni and Lynwood Wallace, of Yonkers, say that if cameras were equipped in more locations, they may have more information on the death of their son.

Matthew Wallace was killed five years ago on the tracks at the Wakefield train station, a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday.

MTA police initially suggested his death was suicide, but the medical examiner ruled his death accidental.

Sen. Shelley Mayer represents the district where Matthew died.

“Every parent who sends a kid down those steps at that station has a reason to be concerned until we have a camera there,” she says.

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