Subway Crime Update: Governor Hochul’s Strategy for Enhanced Safety

Governor Kathy Hochul is scheduled to outline her strategy for deploying state resources to address subway crime in an announcement slated for Wednesday. Hochul aims to instill a sense of security among commuters while acknowledging recent data indicating an increase in subway-related crime.

Recent statistics released by officials illustrate a 13% rise in violent crimes within the subway system compared to the previous year. However, City Hall attempted to challenge these figures on Tuesday, asserting that crime rates had actually declined last month.

“Overall crime is down,” Mayor Adams remarked. “We observed double-digit reductions in subway crime during February 2024.”

Mayor Adams attributes the improvement in subway safety to enhanced police deployments and the addition of hundreds more officers to the transit system. The collaborative efforts also involve the participation of MTA police and state troopers.

The increased police presence and the implementation of random bag checks are among the strategies aimed at intercepting weapons and illicit items before entering subway stations. Mayor Adams disclosed the development of two advanced weapons detection systems, emphasizing the importance of identifying firearms.

“They are doing an excellent job in identifying razors, knives, scissors, and other sharp objects,” stated Adams. “To me, that’s a low bar. I want to be able to identify a gun. We have seen some promising technology that I think, in the next year, we’re going to really see something that people felt was not possible.”

These measures follow a recent surge in violent incidents within the city’s transit system, encompassing notable cases of shootings, stabbings, beatings, and robberies. The authorities are actively investigating the unprovoked attack on a 64-year-old man at Penn Station to apprehend the suspect.

Authorities report that on Sunday, the victim experienced a harrowing incident where he was pushed onto the tracks at the A/C/E line after being kicked from behind around 5 p.m.

The victim, identified as a postal worker, was assisted back onto the platform, sustaining injuries to his back and knee. He was subsequently transported to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

The assailant fled the scene, prompting law enforcement to release surveillance footage of the individual wanted in connection to the assault on the 64-year-old man. Investigations are underway to apprehend the suspect.

Governor Kathy Hochul disclosed on Monday that following a meeting with Mayor Adams and the NYPD’s Chief of Transit, she intends to unveil additional resources aimed at addressing transit-related crimes.

“We will enhance public safety with an increased police presence in subway stations. This is a demand people have been expressing, and we are committed to fulfilling it,” stated Hochul. “Moreover, there’s a significant aspect related to individuals grappling with mental health crises in the subway. According to the chief of transit police, over 80% of the challenges originate from this context.”

The governor is contemplating the installation of cameras in every subway car and conductor booth by the year’s end as part of the resources under consideration to enhance the safety of the subway system.

Malik Britton, a daily commuter, strategically positions himself where he cannot be pushed onto the tracks, employing it as a protective measure during his commute. “Away from the tracks and nobody could push me or be behind me,” he shared with Eyewitness News. “I’m pretty much against the beams.”

Abhijeet Singh, another subway commuter, emphasizes the need to stay vigilant. “I have to watch my back,” Singh remarked.

Despite the ongoing efforts to mitigate subway crime, the majority of riders express that they do not feel secure.

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