MANHATTAN – A surge of NYPD officers are headed underground— increasing New York’s Finest’s presence in the subways in an effort to make commutes safer for New Yorkers across the City. The beefed-up police presence, part of a joint announcement by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams on subway safety and homelessness concerns.
“Actual crime and the perception of crime and a perception of disorder, leads to the crisis we are facing,” Mayor Adams said Thursday.
“We can do a better job by addressing the public safety aspect,” the former transit cop turned Mayor told reporters.
Rather than dedicate additional officers to the subway system, this surge tasks local above-ground precinct officers with heading into the stations.
“They would go into the subway system and they will inspect the stations to determine if there are any law problems or any public safety problems,” Mayor Adams said.
“When you walk through that train and the public sees you, they feel that level of confidence that the system is a safe place to be.”
“There will be hundreds of new visual inspections on the trains throughout each day and night,” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell added.
“New Yorkers will witness uniformed officers’ presence in the transit system, both on platforms, in and out of trains, riding the trains to cover as much ground as possible.”
According to NYPD statistics, Upper East Side subway crime over the last for weeks is up 133% as compared to the same four weeks last year. Don’t let that staggering percentage fool you, the number of actual crimes reported has increased from three to seven— all grand larcenies and robberies.
In addition to the influx of officers, the New York State office of Mental Health is teaming up with the City Department of social services to connect homeless New Yorkers seeking shelter in the subway system with critical services and housing.
“For the first time we’re going to create teams of trained professionals who will be embedded here, who develop relationships, develop trust, and allow us to face the issue of chronic street homelessness with a plan,” Governor Hochul said at Thursday’s announcement in Lower Manhattan.
“We’re going to get them the support they need, get them into shelter and ultimately into housing,” Hochul added.
“So we’re going to have what we call our State-funded S.O.S teams: Safe Options Support.”
The Governor says these new eight-to-ten person teams will work hand-in-hand with New York City outreach teams.
“These are medical professionals, they’re social workers, outreach people, who understand the very deep human needs that lead people to need more help than they’re getting,” Hochul said.
“This truly is a humanitarian crisis.”