NYPD officers will stop patrolling subways in pairs, Mayor Adams says

NYPD officers will stop patrolling subways in pairs, Mayor Adams says

New York Metropolis police officers will not patrol subway stations in pairs, Mayor Eric Adams introduced Friday.

“We’re not deploying police correctly,” Adams informed reporters throughout a press convention.

The swap to solo patrols comes at a time of heightened nervousness in the town’s huge public transit system, with practically 500 stations and 250 miles of practice strains to observe.

The mayor, a former NYPD captain, mentioned he used to patrol by himself when he labored in the subways. Transit officers started patrolling in doubles “out of an overabundance of caution” after two police officers have been killed in their squad automobile on Tompkins Avenue in Brooklyn in 2014, he mentioned, as a result of the division feared a copycat assault. However the apply has continued in the eight years since.

“When we made every patrol a dual patrol, we cut our department basically in half,” Adams mentioned. “By going back to single patrol, we’re now doubling the size, and you’re going to see the omnipresence and the confidence that riders are going to see based on that. It allows us to cover more ground.”

It was not a finances resolution, the mayor mentioned, however slightly an answer that he and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell had agreed to after observing officers whereas touring all through metropolis. He mentioned the commissioner can be sharing further plans to enhance security in the subways in the approaching days. The NYPD didn’t instantly reply to a request for extra particulars and the mayor’s workplace mentioned it might present additional data at a later date. It is unclear when the coverage takes impact.

The police union instantly criticized the transfer. After the announcement, the Police Benevolent Affiliation mentioned the change would embolden folks to battle cops and resist arrest, as a result of there wouldn’t be somebody to instantly again up officers. The union additionally warned that sending police into the subways alone would push folks to go away the division. A whole lot of budgeted positions are already unfilled.

“We can’t fix the NYPD staffing crisis by spreading our overstretched resources even thinner,” PBA president Patrick J. Lynch mentioned in a press release. “New York City police officers are overburdened, underpaid and leaving in droves – this proposal will only accelerate that exodus.”

A number of high-profile incidents have sparked requires extra security measures in the subways, together with the shoving loss of life of Michelle Go in January, a mass capturing on the N practice in April, a killing at a subway station in Jamaica, Queens a pair weeks later and a loss of life on the practice tracks Wednesday evening. A current Siena ballot discovered that 85% of individuals surveyed supported having extra police in the subways and about two-thirds have been in favor of putting in metallic detectors on the entrances of practice stops.

The town assigned an additional 500 officers to the transit bureau final winter and 250 extra in the spring as ridership regularly elevated following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor and Gov. Kathy Hochul additionally got here collectively earlier this 12 months to launch a brand new plan to tamp down on crime and homelessness underground, which included sending outreach staff into the subways to attempt to persuade folks to sleep in metropolis shelters as a substitute of on the subway.

Nonetheless, some have criticized these responses, urging metropolis leaders to speculate in various choices to make public transportation safer, like shortening intervals between trains and hiring non-law enforcement staff to place folks comfy in the stations.

John Jay School of Felony Justice Professor Dorothy Schulz, who served as commanding officer at Grand Central Station for Metro-North Railroad Police, informed Gothamist she expects Adams’ new plan will have “a very hard sell within the department.”

Schulz famous that it may very well be tough for officers to speak underground with outdated radios, which suggests they may very well be caught on their very own throughout an emergency. She mentioned the important thing to safer subways is best supervision and deployment methods, to make sure that officers aren’t bunching collectively. Subway riders wish to really feel protected, she mentioned.

“People are very frightened about the thought of being pushed on the tracks or in a subway car with somebody who’s mentally unstable and acting in a dangerous way,” Schulz mentioned. “In a subway automobile, the place are you able to go?“

Source link