Turn To Tara: MTA takes action after News 12 report reveals lack of station cameras

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YONKERS -

The MTA is taking action after News 12’s ‘Surveillance Secret’ special report that revealed the lack of cameras at many Westchester train stations.

Lynwood Wallace, of Yonkers,  says he cried when he heard the news about the MTA.

“We were so grateful to News 12 because you guys were the only outlet willing to help us and realize there was a problem,” says his wife, Jeni Wallace.

The problem consumed News 12’s investigative unit for the better half of 2018 after learning about the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of their teenage son, Matthew.

The honor roll student and star athlete was killed on the tracks at the Wakefield train station five years ago, but because there were no security cameras set up, the family will likely never know how Matthew died.

“We've been fighting for these cameras for 5 1/2 years,” says Jeni Wallace.

News 12 began asking questions, including which stations have cameras and which don’t, and what the criteria was for placing them.

Metro-North refused to answer the questions, so Turn To Tara hit the road and visited all of the county’s 44 stops one by one.

The team found that nearly 75 percent of them were lacking cameras on the tracks, including many stops in the lowest income parts of the county.

“You drew attention to the fact that there was no rational plan where cameras were located,” said Sen. Shelley Mayer.

Sen. Mayer lobbied behind the scenes, and the message apparently resonated with the new leadership of the MTA – it ordered the placement of cameras at the Wakefield station two weeks ago.

The MTA would not provide News 12 with a list of which stations received new security cameras, but it did say that it intends to continue adding them until all stations have them. It added that the effort is part of an ongoing capital campaign.

MORE: Turn to Tara: Lawmakers fuming over lack of security at train stations

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

 

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