Mayor Adams Budgets Millions to Fund Programs to Create Safe and Clean Subways
By Yehudit Garmaise
New Yorkers who love and need the subway can breathe a sigh of relief because a comprehensive plan to create safe and clean subways is among the many projects for which Mayor Eric Adams’ $99.7 billion budget will provide for the 2023 fiscal year.
While Mayor Adams said it is essential to empower police officers to focus on crime and disorder on the subway, he also said that “not every emergency call needs the police.”
Instead of the NYPD responding to every 911 call from or about someone suffering from mental health issues, when appropriate, teams of emergency medical technicians and mental health professions called “Be Heard,” which stands for Behavior Health Emergency Assistance Response Division, are often deployed instead.
“The Be Heard teams de-escalate tense situations and connect people in crisis to the care they need,” said Mayor Adams, whose budget earmarks $55 million to expand the teams of mental health professionals citywide.
Once the Be Heard teams attend to the needs of distressed people, who are often unsheltered, they need places to go, so Mayor Adams’ administration budgeted $171 million to add 1,400 new Safe Haven and stabilization beds by mid-2023 to provide stable housing for New Yorkers who previously lived on the streets and in subway stations.
The mayor’s budget also will continue to support the city’s Crisis Management Teams and Violence Interrupters, said Adams who described those organizations are those that are “out there on the front lines doing the work.”
While the mayor spoke of many ways in which spending $99.7 billion could improve NYC, he said, realistically, “Success won’t be measured by how much we spend, but by how much we accomplish.”