Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams Promise More Police on the Subways: Again
By Yehudit Garmaise
Passengers who stride through crowded subway stations while scanning the crowd for uniformed police officers have received yet another promise from NY politicians that the visible, uniformed police presence will increase on and near the rails.
The day after a man, who thankfully survived, was pushed onto the tracks as he waiting for the northbound L-train at 2:40pm on Friday at the Brooklyn subway station at Wyckoff and Myrtle Avenues, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced that they will flood the subway system with more cops and continue to install additional surveillance cameras.
But haven’t we heard this before?
Back in January, just days after 40-year-old Michelle Go was pushed to her death by an insane homeless person at the Times Square station, Mayor Adams started out his term by riding the subway to work to see for himself what was happening on the rails he patrolled as a transit cop in 1980s.
“Day One: Jan. 1, when I took the train, I saw the homelessness, the yelling, and the screaming: early in the morning,” the mayor said on Jan. 18. “Crimes right outside the platform.
As part of the mayor’s efforts to tame subway crime, on Jan. 6, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced a new plan to deploy hundreds more police officers to patrol, circulate, observe, and converse with passengers within the city’s trains and subway stations to stop crime.
NYPD Transit Head James Wilcox, who called for a “high visibility of transit police,” said he wanted police officers in every corner of the subway station.
But the crimes kept coming, and cops were not on the scene until after innocent victims were harmed in unprovoked attacks.
On Feb. 21, Mayor Adams launched his Subway Safety Plan in which he promised to send out 30 teams of nurses, social workers, homeless outreach workers, and NYPD officers to prevent crime and relocate subway riders who are homeless.
On April 12, Frank James opened fire and injured 23 morning commuters after he boarded the train at the Sunset Park station, where several surveillance cameras were not working at the time.
After the public cried out about the dysfunctional surveillance cameras that slowed down the manhunt for James, last month, Gov. Hochul announced that in the next two or three years, she would equip each of the MTA’s 6,500 subway cars with two surveillance cameras.
Approximately 200 new cameras have already been installed in subway crimes, but the crimes keep coming.
On May 22, the life of 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez, a Brooklyn resident who was sitting on the train, minding his own business on his way to meet a friend for brunch in Manhattan, ended after a gunman fired one shot in his chest and killed him.
Almost 11 months after Mayor Adams’ many initiatives, after countless stabbings, shovings, attacks, and deadly shootings, victims and witnesses continue to say that they rarely see uniformed police officers, who never seem to be on the scene of crimes as they are happening.
Two weeks before Election Day on Nov. 8, with US Rep. Zeldin closing in on Gov. Hochul’s previous wide lead, the governor announced that the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Police Department and the NYPD are working together to add 1,200 extra overtime shifts daily in which police officers will patrol the subway system.
Gov. Hochul’s “Cops, Cameras, Care” initiative will provide cops patrolling subways for 10,000 more hours. In addition, police officers will soon be stationed on at least 300 subway platforms during peak hours.
“I will continue to use the resources of the state of New York to bring this violence to an end,” said Gov. Hochul, who failed to provide any cost estimates or say when much of the plan would be rolled out.
“In the short term,” the governor said that she will use the public emergency safety fund to bankroll her new plan, while she continues to look for “dedicated sources to pay for the extra police presence,” the New York Post reported.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, however, isn’t buying Hochul’s somewhat vague plan to pay for the increased police presence on the subways.
The NYPD already has 12.4% fewer cops working the subways than it did in 2020, said Lynch, who said Hochul’s initiative was “unsustainable.”
US Rep. Lee Zeldin, who has surged in polls so that he is now running neck-in-neck with Hochul, is also not impressed with Hochul’s plan that he said is too-little, too-late.
“Why is Kathy Hochul waiting until the day after the first poll that says we’re in the lead — two and a half weeks before the election — before she’s doing this?” Zeldin asked a reporter from the NY Post. “She should just have been doing the right thing out of the gate,” he said.