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Hochul, Adams take victory lap over drop in subway crime, follows surge in cops since last fall

A few 12 months after Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul first stood in Fulton Middle to declare their dedication to combating subway crime, the pair was again in the Decrease Manhattan transit hub Friday, taking a victory lap over what they mentioned is knowledge displaying a marked decline in offenses dedicated on the transit system.

The chief executives of the town and state highlighted that for the primary 3 1/2 weeks this 12 months there have been a median of 1.7 crimes per a million riders a day, in comparison with a median of two.8 per million in 2020—on the top of the pandemic—and a couple of.3 per million throughout 2021 and 2022. That brings the present stage of crime on the system near the pre-pandemic determine of 1.5 crimes per a million each day riders.

The governor additionally mentioned there was a 16 p.c decline in subway crime for the three-month interval ending Jan. 22, in comparison with the identical interval 12 months prior.  She attributed the decline to the implementation of the joint “Cops, Cameras and Care” initiative that was launched in October.

Moreover, NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper mentioned the downward pattern is constant. He mentioned main subway crime was down 31% for the primary three weeks of 2023, in comparison with the identical timeframe in 2022.

The crime knowledge was introduced in tandem with preliminary findings from a December MTA survey that confirmed straphangers are beginning to really feel safer using the subterranean system. The total survey outcomes shall be launched on Monday, in accordance with an MTA spokesperson.

Whereas they’ve made actual positive aspects over a brief time frame, Hochul mentioned, they’re not going to declare “mission accomplished” simply but.

“We’ve been making progress, we’re making real progress,” Hochul mentioned. “Now, we’ll stand here and say we’re never finished. As long as there’s any crime being committed, we’ll never say ‘mission accomplished.’ Those words will never come from our lips. But today’s an opportunity to give a progress report.”

Mayor Eric Adams.Michael Appleton/Mayoral Images Workplace

Within the October plan, the governor introduced that her administration would fund MTA police and NYPD the equal of 1,200 additional time hours per day to put cops on patrol at over 300 stations throughout the system throughout peak hours. Hochul mentioned the state has allotted $62 million to fund all of that additional time. Nevertheless, in accordance with a spokesperson for Hochul, it’s not but clear how a lot of that cash has been spent as a result of it’s reimbursement primarily based and nonetheless must be calculated.

Moreover, Hochul introduced a separate plan earlier last 12 months to put in surveillance cameras on each subway automotive by 2025.

The governor mentioned that the presence of cops on subway platforms and trains, coupled with bulletins from prepare conductors alerting passengers that they’re on patrol, has been a “powerful deterrent” for subway crime. 

“I want people to have that sense that if you need help, it’s there,” Hochul mentioned. “But also, if you’re someone looking to do harm to somebody, that’s a powerful deterrent when you know there’s a police officer right either on the platform, the train or the mezzanine.”

The mayor echoed the governor’s sentiments that the massive presence of cops is providing a way of consolation to subway riders.

“Nothing makes you feel better when you’re in the system, or up top, than seeing that uniformed officer,” Adams mentioned. “That uniformed officer brings you a level of calmness. You feel as though there’s someone there to give you the service that you need.”

Based on MTA CEO Janno Lieber, the preliminary survey outcomes launched at this time confirmed a 20% enhance in the variety of subway riders who say they really feel “safe” or “very safe” on the system, an enhance from 40% to 60% between October and November. Lieber mentioned the proportion of riders who consider that there are sufficient cops in the system has by no means been larger.

“The one thing that riders say again and again and again, up and down the demographic and economic spectrum, is that they want to see cops and they are happier about the number of cops that they are seeing than ever before,” Lieber mentioned. “We’re not taking our foot off the gas on the Cops, Cameras and Care program, I know that the governor and the mayor aren’t, they’re in it for the long haul. That’s what we’re all in it to do for the riders.”

However Metropolis Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Selvena Brooks Powers (D-Queens) and Committee on Public Security Chair Kamillah Hanks (D-Staten Island), in a joint assertion, mentioned they nonetheless have excellent issues in regards to the general price of the iniative and urged the governor and mayor to consider transit security in a extra complete vogue.

“There are open questions about the overall cost of this initiative and we’ll be closely evaluating the Governor and Mayor’s proposed spending plans in the coming weeks,” they mentioned. “As we talk about how to keep New Yorkers safe on our century-old transit infrastructure, we must be comprehensive in thinking about public safety. New Yorkers also aren’t safe when the subways flood, or when they get stranded on an unreliable elevator or escalator.”

This story was up to date to incorporate an announcement from the Metropolis Council at 6:24 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2023.

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