Some NYC Grocery Owners Install Small, Hidden Panic Buttons to Speed Arrival of NYPD

Some NYC Grocery Owners Install Small, Hidden Panic Buttons to Speed Arrival of NYPD

By Yehudit Garmaise

Two weeks after a 66-year-old man was murdered outside his son’s grocery during a brief New York City visit in which he was looking forward to meeting his new grandson, National Retail Solutions pledged to install small, hidden panic button systems for free at bodegas citywide. 

When bodega owners press the panic buttons, local police precincts are supposed to receive silent alerts to respond more quickly than the police might arrive after 911 calls, Fox5ny reported.

Sammy, who is the manager of the bodega that sadly became a crime scene, was happy to hear about the new technology, but he was not sure whether the panic button would have helped on the day of the deadly shooting and similar recent crimes.

Even Ricky Shah, from National Retail Solutions, however, says that even with the panic buttons, police response is “not the quickest.”

“But in a city like this, it is quicker than having to be on hold for five to 10 minutes or on a phone call,” Shah said.

The NYPD has arrested and charged three men who were connected to the killing, which took place in Queens. 

To pay for the new panic buttons, which typically cost between $500 to $1,000, plus $120-a-year to maintain, the Bronx Community Foundation, the Bodega and Small Business Group, and Councilwoman Amanda Septimo a $1 million dollar grant. 

Shah said he hopes the panic buttons can help the city’s bodega owners avoid other tragedies. 

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