A Staten Island man who lives next door to a controversial school-turned-migrant shelter says cops seem more focused on keeping tabs on residents than the site as police beefed up security in the area Tuesday.
Scott Herkert , 53, told The Post he was baffled as he watched city workers install surveillance cameras outside his house Tuesday — rather than the shelter at the former St. John Villa Academy in Arrochar that has already sent hundreds of ticked-off locals to the street in protest .
“I’m in a fishbowl,” he said.
“I don’t recognize my country anymore. They’re doing things in secret, and now I’m the one under a microscope for standing up for what I worked hard for.”
“I’m a prisoner in my own neighborhood now,” Herkert added.
“This is not just me. This is a neighborhood fighting for its survival. They’re dropping a bomb on this neighborhood.”
As many as 400 enraged protesters rallied outside the converted school on Monday in the latest show of opposition to Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to open the newest migrant shelter there without warning.
Some 104,000 migrants from the US border have been processed in the Big Apple since the spring of last year, and nearly 56,000 are currently in the city’s care — including at massive tent city on Randall’s Island, former New York City hotels and shuttered facilities like St. John Villa.
The founder of The Guardian Angels and former mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, who has been at several anti-migrant protests, said there were about 20 migrants at the school as of Tuesday morning.
After Monday’s raucous rally, cops parked police cruisers in the road to block off traffic to Landis Avenue and Hastings Street on Tuesday and installed surveillance cameras on utility poles near Herkert’s home.
Herkert, who said he’s owned the house for the past 22 years, said life on the block has been a living hell since City Hall decided to use the school as an emergency shelter.
“All hours, middle of the night, they’re dropping people off,” he said.
“A white van pulled up last night at 12:30 a.m. and let some people out. I don’t know, they went inside. Seven a.m. this morning, they’re dropping off equipment. The outdoor showers, outside next to my backyard, the generators, which they just started up… I can’t even focus on what people are saying to me from the lack of sleep.”
The newly installed generators are about 15 yards from Herkert’s house.
” I got to hear this now? This noise all the time now?! My yard is unusable, and my house is unsellable!”
“This is a neighborhood fighting for its survival,” he said.
“They’re dropping a bomb on this neighborhood.”