Hochul, Adams plan to boost cops, surveillance in NYC subways to fight skyrocketing crime
By Valentina Jaramillo and Rich Calder | October 22, 2022 | 3:21pm | Updated
Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams said Saturday they will flood the city’s crime-ravaged subway system with more cops and ramp up the installation of additional surveillance cameras.
Their “Cops, Cameras, Care” initiative — announced Saturday at Grand Central Terminal just over two weeks before Hochul tries to retain her seat on Election Day – includes the state-run MTA Police Department and the NYPD joining forces to add 1,200 extra overtime shifts daily to watch over the subway system.
This, they said, would translate into about 10,000 extra hours of cops patrolling subways and that New Yorkers would soon see officers covering subway platforms on extended tours daily in at least 300 stations during peak hours.
“I will continue to use the resources of the State of New York to bring this violence to an end,” said Hochul, who failed to provide any cost estimates or say when much of the plan would be rolled out.
Instead, she said the state would help the city “defray” overtime costs through its public emergency safety fund “in the short term” and then look for dedicated sources to pay for the extra police presence moving ahead.
“The bottom line is that riders will see more officers in the system, and so will those thinking of breaking the law,” Adams said.
Hochul and Adams also said they’d be creating new 25-bed inpatient units at two psychiatric centers to help get seriously mentally ill people who are homeless out of the subway system and to shelter. The first will launch Nov. 1 at Manhattan Psychiatric Center.
MTA police, NYPD cops and other first responders will also receive training on how best to transport the mentally ill from subways to psychiatric care, they said.
The additions include two new dedicated units at psychiatric centers to help provide people with serious mental health issues with assistance.
Plans announced last month by Hochul to equip each of the MTA’s roughly 6,500 subway cars with a pair of surveillance cameras over the next three years is moving ahead of schedule, and are now expected to be completed by late 2024, she said. About 200 new cameras have already been installed.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch ripped the initiative as “unsustainable” because the NYPD is already has 12.4% less cops working the subways than it did in 2020.
“The answer is not to squeeze them for more forced OT,” he said.
The city is already hundreds of millions of dollars over its NYPD overtime budget.
The scene where a teen was fatally stabbed inside the 1 train station on Broadway and West 137th Street over the summer.
The scene of a fatal stabbing at the 34th Street subway station.
Vincent Vallelong, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, questioned the plan, too.
“Cameras will not deter crime,” he said. “There will still be a victim and the laws they have put and kept in place unwilling to change are the reason we are at this juncture.
“Politics should never compromise new safety and security of our families.”
The governor and mayor made their announcement two days after Adams used a CNN interview to downplay the city’s increase in violent subway crime — and blamed the news media for creating a false “perception” that the situation underground is out of control.
Adams took his dismissive tone about mayhem in the subways — where violent crime this year through August was up 39% compared to 2019 — a day after the city’s ninth train-system homicide of the year occurred in Queens.
Earlier Saturday, Adams kicked off his two-day major summit aimed at tackling the Big Apple’s surging crime problem.
He met for roughly four hours behind closed doors at Gracie Mansion with district attorneys, defense lawyers and other major stakeholders, who didn’t bring up the topic of bail reform, sources said. At the joint presser with Hochul, Adams dismissed it as the main driver of spiraling crime and recidivism, as critics have said.
“Everyone wants to point one word to dealing with the criminal justice issue. We have bail reform, bail reform, bail reform. No, it’s more than that,” he said.
Additional reporting by Larry Celona
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