Monday, January 24

Where are the cops? MTA questions “increased” patrol figures in chaotic New York Subway

NYPD on the Subway.

Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wonders where the announced police officers are, after data from its own study appears to show that most stations had little to no NYPD presence in recent weeks, amid the boom in violent incidents.

According to data shared by an anonymous MTA source, its employees only saw police presence on an average of 14% in 2,928 visits to stations between May 12 and 24.

At the lowest point, NYPD officers were observed in just 1% of the monitored stations on May 13, according to the data. Comparatively, on May 21 there was a police presence in 31% of the tracked stops.

“I have no way of knowing how that study was conducted or if they are accurate,” said yesterday to Pix11 the commissioner from the New York Police Department, Dermot Shea,, in response to the MTA findings. “Certainly we are not in all seasons at all timesBut trust me, they’re out there and they’re doing the best they can. “

The NYPD Traffic Office will present its latest crime statistics to the MTA at its scheduled board meeting. It was expected to see there a 68% increase in serious assaults on the subway in April.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised that the NYPD would deploy an additional 250 officers on the Subway. This comes after the city deployed some 500 clandestine officers in February.

So how many officers are actually patrolling the Metro? “It’s a fluid number,” said Commissioner Shea. “There are times when we have had more and there have been times when we have had less,” he justified.

The NYPD commissioner also said he understands that everyone wants to see more officers and the police presence makes people feel safer. But he explained that they prioritize patrolling in the Metro depending on where most of the crimes are happening or there are more passengers, depending on the time of day.

Last week, compared to the same period in 2020, crimes in the transit system increased a staggering 161.9%, from 21 to 55, despite the temporary addition of 250 police patrols by Mayor De Blasio after months of demands from the MTA, union officials and even Governor Andrew Cuomo.

NYC’s violence and “mental health crisis” are wreaking havoc on the transportation system, denounced the interim president of transit, Sarah Feinberg, in a letter sent in January to Mayor Bill de Blasio. In February, the city added 644 police officers to the Metro, but an April poll found that less than half of the passengers (45%) had noticed the additional officers.

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