NYPD Re-Launches Subway Overnight Patrol Unit
By Yehudit Garmaise
To battle late-night subway crime, the NYPD has relaunched the Train Patrol Force (TPF) which was last used in the 1990s.
Starting in the evenings and continuing into the overnight hours, when 40% of transit crimes are perpetrated, additional police officers will be deployed from the 2,500-strong Transit Bureau to walk the trains, Transit Bureau Chief Jason Wilcox told MTA board members on Monday, amny reported.
The TPF was last in force in the 1990s, when Mayor Eric Adams patrolled the trains while serving as a transit cop, however, the unit disbanded after the Transit Police Department merged with the NYPD in 1995.
“The TPF will perform dedicated, targeted, and visible train patrols on the late evening and overnight hours,” said Wilcox, who added that major felonies, such as murder, robbery, and assault, were up 64.4% this year through April, compared to April 2021.
“It was an idea to which we felt we needed to return,” the top transit cop said, not long after a gunman, who remains at large, shot and killed 48-year-old Brooklynite Daniel Enriquez who was riding the Q-train from Downtown Brooklyn to lower Manhattan on Sunday morning.
Wilcox called the murder “senseless and cruel,” however, he did not address the fact that Enriquez was shot in an unprovoked attack that took place at 11:30 am and not in the overnight hours in which the newly-formed TPF will patrol.
In addition, on April 12, when Frank James boarded the N-train in Brooklyn to unleash a smoke bomb before opening fire and injuring 23 passengers, he did so at 8:30 am.
While subway crime has continued to soar, April police officers have increased their arrests underground by nearly 66% through April. Police have increased by 79% their enforcement of fare evasion, which police officials say leads to further subway crime.