As Subways Run 24/7, de Blasio Promises More Police for MTA

NEW YORK -
Mayor Bill de Blasio rides the 4 train from City Hall to 86th Street in Manhattan. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

An additional 250 police officers will be deployed to patrol the subways as New York City restores subway service to round the clock pre-pandemic availability.

“Public safety is crucial to the recovery,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his press conference on Monday. “Anyone that commits an offense in the subways will be found, will be prosecuted, will be held accountable…More and more New Yorkers come back to the subways, the subways get safer, but we’re going to send a very powerful message that we’re putting in the resources every day, whatever it takes, get the job done.”

The 250 officers are addition to the 500 officers added to subway duties in February after a homeless man killed other homeless people who were sheltering in the subway overnight.

The additional officers are intended to ease concerns about public safety and to respond quickly to any crimes that occur in the subway system, after MTA officials have repeatedly called for more security.

The city has 2,500 police officers whose primary responsibility in subway safety. These 250 news officers will be working extra shifts or have been reassigned from administrative positions.

“We’re going to take officers and put them in the right places and the subways at the right time, particularly at peak times of ridership. Combining all of these elements, this will now be the largest NYPD Transit Force… in over 25 years,” said de Blasio. “We are going to do the things we need to do to keep New Yorkers safe, to get them back to the subways, to move the recovery.”

On Monday, the MTA restored the subway to its pre-pandemic 24 hour service, and announced it had hit nearly 2.3 million trips on May 14, the highest number of daily riders since the pandemic hit.

“We want to build on the momentum we’re seeing in ridership,” said MTA Chairman Patrick Foye. “I’m sure that number will get even higher. As a lifelong New Yorker… I have no doubt that our post-pandemic recovery will be robust and that we will come back better than ever.”

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smarcus@hamodia.com