Bodega owners meet with NYPD to discuss security options

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Bodega owners met with NYPD officials Monday to discuss new safety options and came away pleased with the result.

Among the things members of United Bodegas of America (UBA) asked for were panic buttons that would allow store owners to contact police immediately in the event of an crime; and video cameras with direct, live links to nearby police stations.

They also asked for NYPD officials to notify bodega owners of gang-related activity in their neighborhoods; more frequent neighborhood patrols; and basic training in how to handle situations that turn violent.

The NYPD agreed to help with all of these things, UBA president Rahdames Rodriguez told reporters after the meeting.

The officials were surprised to learn that UBA is not asking for any financial assistance, only police expertise and cooperation in instituting the measures, Rodriguez added.

The NYPD did refuse to support two additional requests: on-premises gun permits and Tasers. Police say they pose too much of a danger.

The bodega owners say their requests are part of an effort to prevent violent gang attacks, like the murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz in the Bronx.

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