New York City Will Increase Police Presence in Subways to Combat Crime

After a collection of violent deaths on the subway raised considerations about security in New York Metropolis, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday introduced a plan to extend the presence of law enforcement officials within the transit system.

Ms. Hochul, a Democrat who’s lower than three weeks from Election Day, mentioned the state would assist the town pay for a further 1,200 additional time shifts per day for law enforcement officials to patrol the subway to maintain New Yorkers secure, together with persevering with to put in cameras inside prepare vehicles.

Ms. Hochul mentioned that many New Yorkers had been involved about crime on the subway and that she would “deal with getting that sense of safety again.”

The plan, introduced at a joint information convention at Grand Central Station in Manhattan, was the newest in a collection of efforts to handle subway violence — a cussed downside that grew worse throughout the pandemic and that has been tough for elected officers to handle. Shortly after Mr. Adams took workplace in January, he and Ms. Hochul held an analogous occasion to announce a plan to increase police patrols.

However the violence has continued. There have been 9 murders on the subway this 12 months — a degree that’s much higher than in the five years before the pandemic, when there have been, on common, about two murders per 12 months.

A person was just lately killed by a subway train in Queens after falling onto the tracks throughout a struggle on the platform at rush hour, and a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed on the subway in Queens. One other man was fatally stabbed whereas using a prepare in Brooklyn final month, and a homeless man was arrested for the murder.

Mr. Adams famous that 40 p.c of the murders had been believed to have been dedicated by folks with a historical past of psychological well being issues.

Mr. Adams, a former transit police officer and a Democrat who ran for mayor on a public security message, has delivered conflicting messages on crime. He mentioned in Could that he had “by no means witnessed crime at this degree,” although it’s a lot decrease now than it was within the Nineties. However he has additionally argued that he’s bringing down some sorts of crime and has blamed the media for fueling panic, prompting a New York Post cover on Friday exhibiting Mr. Adams using a unicorn and dwelling in a “fantasy land.”

“If New Yorkers don’t really feel secure, we’re failing,” Mr. Adams mentioned on Saturday, including that the aim of the brand new plan was “the omnipresence of law enforcement officials and the removing of those that are coping with psychological well being points.”

Ms. Hochul, for her half, is facing a stronger-than-expected challenge from Representative Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor, as she runs for her first full time period. Two latest polls confirmed Ms. Hochul’s lead over Mr. Zeldin shrinking.

Ms. Hochul offered a brand new slogan for the subway plan: “Cops, Cameras and Care.” She mentioned the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state-run transit company, had already put in greater than 200 cameras on subway trains following her announcement last month that officials would install two security cameras on every car. She mentioned that the state would make a “vital funding” from a state public emergency fund to pay for the additional time shifts.

The governor additionally mentioned the state would arrange two new models at psychiatric facilities, together with 50 inpatient beds, to assist these with severe psychological diseases. And she or he mentioned that the M.T.A. police, a separate power, can be deployed into subway stations at 4 main commuter railroad hubs, together with Penn Station and Grand Central Station.

The pinnacle of the town’s main police union instantly criticized the subway security plan and mentioned that it was unsustainable to maintain asking law enforcement officials to work extra additional time shifts, particularly when many officers had left the division.

“The elevated workload is crushing the cops who stay,” Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Affiliation, mentioned in a press release. “The reply is to not squeeze them for extra pressured OT.”

Mr. Lynch referred to as as a substitute for wage will increase and higher working situations to retain officers. He mentioned the concept of omnipresence was an “phantasm.”

Mr. Adams endorsed Ms. Hochul for governor, they usually have established a greater working relationship than their predecessors, former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and former Mayor Invoice de Blasio, who continually fought in public. However Mr. Adams has pushed Ms. Hochul to make changes to bail reform to make it simpler to maintain folks in jail, offering a speaking level for Mr. Zeldin.

Robert F. Holden, a Democratic Metropolis Councilman from Queens who endorsed Mr. Zeldin, mentioned on Saturday that having extra officers on the subway wouldn’t assist scale back crime if lawmakers didn’t additionally repair bail reform.

“That is welcome information, however with out altering legal guidelines, these further cops will solely be rearresting the identical folks,” he mentioned. “Gov. Kathy Hochul should name an emergency session of the State Legislature and repeal bail reform.”

When state and metropolis officers had been requested on Saturday about whether or not having officers on subway platforms would really scale back violence, the town’s police commissioner, Keechant Sewell, mentioned that it may assist in some instances or result in the fast apprehension of an offender.

In January, when Michelle Go, 40, was killed after being pushed in entrance of a prepare on the Occasions Sq. station, transit officers mentioned there had been six officers assigned to the station, together with two who had been within the space the place Ms. Go was pushed.

When Mr. Adams was requested on Saturday about homeless individuals who really feel safer on the subway than within the shelter system, he mentioned the town wouldn’t “enable people who find themselves a hazard to themselves and others to stroll our streets.”

“In case you are schizophrenic, if you’re bipolar, if you’re strolling the subway system with no shirt on in 20-degree climate, no sneakers on, yelling at your self,” he mentioned, “how do you make that call that I really feel higher about being within the subway system?”

Karen Zraickcontributed reporting.

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