More cops will guard the NYC Subway and a special group will address homeless crises

The latent risk of crime suffered by passengers on the New York City Subway and the presence of hundreds of homeless who have their refuge in these facilities, will now have another way of being approached, which goes through redeploying more police force to increase surveillance in the “hottest” points, coupled with the conformation of the new Secure Options Support Team (SOS).

This is the strategy announced Thursday by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams, who are joining forces to create a group made up of health professionals and social workers, which in short, will try to lessen the impact of the intervention of the uniformed and offer more resources to the “homeless.”

“This is really a humanitarian crisis”Hochul said at a news conference with Adams at the Fulton Street station in Lower Manhattan.

In this plan announced to face a decades-long crisis, but which took on gigantic dimensions during the pandemic, the governorate will finance the SOS teams, each made up of eight professionals who will be at the facilities of the extensive train network. Its mission will be to find alternatives to help people who have their “home” at the stations.

Along with this effort, the municipal president explained that the officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) who guarantee security in the Subway, will continue to redouble their “visual inspections”, but that the new support units will be the ones who They must interact with the homeless.

“We need to be clear here: we will not allow our police officers to get unnecessarily involved with the homeless and those issues continue. generating negative encounters“Explained the Mayor.

In summary, the state and city authorities insisted that it is a new joint effort to improve safety for all passengers and increase the access of the “homeless” to rehabilitation programs, more stable mental health, social programs and shelter options.

For more than a year the City has been struggling with a persistent perception that the subway system is unsafe. In this sense, part of the effort of the new municipal Administration is that all the workers return to their offices and commercial spaces, having the Subway as a transportation channel.

“Any policy to get New York back, happens to bring more security to our trains“, Said the Mayor.

Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams announced the new Subway safety plan from Fulton Street Station. (Photo F: Martínez)

In this direction, the new New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, announced a host of subway-related deployment movements, including the Underground “selective patrol” in the places where they are most needed.

The blueprint involves NYPD officers working in various offices and special units will be dispatched to patrol the MTA subway system.

“These new measures by the NYPD mean that officers will be inspecting the subway system throughout the day. There will be hundreds of new visual inspections on the trains every day and night, “he added.

Thefts increased

In recent months, as the Big Apple phased out its economy due to pandemic decrees and the number of riders on the subway increased, it has also crimes skyrocketed throughout the transit system.

Thefts had a 50% rebound last September and the violent events that happen from aggressions, shoves and insults, in addition to the presence of violent situations on trains have made many headlines.

During the last two years, during the peaks of complaints and reports of some murders, the City had responded with more presence of uniformed, which aroused the fury of coalitions that watch over the rights of the underprivileged.

The most recent incident reported this week by the NYPD involved a passenger who was stabbed twice in the neck while waiting on the platform of the Manhattan-bound A train at the Rockaway Boulevard station in Ozone Park. Everything indicates that it was a random attack.

At Times Square station, on December 27, another passenger was stabbed and thrown onto the train platforms in a confusing situation.

Figures presented at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) transit committee meeting show that thefts more than doubled from October to November 2021, from 40 to 88.

Felony crimes overall, including grand theft and assault, increased 45% in that time period.

NYPD last year recorded a 79% increase in hate crimes, driven by a 240% rise in attacks based on sexual orientation and 233% against Asians, according to figures presented to the MTA.

Mexican Ana García (on the left): “we look forward to coming and going calmly to our jobs.” (Photo: F. Martínez)

“The news is terrible”

The Mexican Ana García who works in a restaurant and must use public transport every day, assures that the feeling of insecurity is increasing every day.

“Fortunately, personally nothing has happened to me, but the news that one sees is terrible. One only hopes to come and go to work quietly, “he said.

Also, the Honduran delivery operator, Miguel Socías he has not had the same luck and thinks that there should be more police presence.

“Hopefully, some spaces in the Bronx will be reinforced with more officials, especially at night and on weekends. I give this information to the authorities: Tighten security at 149th Street / Grand Concourse Station! There the criminals rule. They have attacked me twice already ”, exclaimed the immigrant.

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