NYC subway sees enhanced NYPD patrols after spike in crime

All NYPD Chiefs hopped on subway trains on Thursday to speak directly with passengers as part of an effort by the city to increase police visibility on mass transit and show the department’s efforts to combat crime by flooding the subway with extra officers. 

FOX 5 NY's Morgan McKay boarded the 6 train in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx with Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs Mark Stewart, Deputy Chief Norman Grandstaff, and a handful of NYPD officers. 

"We start at one car and then we stop and advance to the next car," Chief Grandstaff explained as the officers walked between subway cars at each stop. "We want to maximize our presence."

"I do feel safer with them on the train," said one woman riding the train. "I do feel like their presence gives us more security."

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After a surge in transit crime in January, Mayor Eric Adams deployed around a thousand additional officers to patrol the transit system. 

"In February, we saw a 16% decrease in crime and as of today, we see an 18% decrease in crime in March so those efforts are paying off tremendously," Grandstaff said. 

While the NYPD reports that crime is down, so far in March, there have been several high-profile incidents of violence on the trains that have shaken riders' confidence. 

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On March 1 at Penn Station, a 27-year-old was slashed in the hand in an anti-gay attack. 

And just last week, a fight inside a crowded A train during rush hour, ending with the aggressor being shot in the head, captured headlines nationwide. 


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"There’s babies on here," one commuter screamed--witnesses described one of the men as being aggressive toward the other.

The NYPD, meanwhile, says that two of the biggest issues facing cops right now in the transit system is mental health and recidivists. 

"30 percent of recidivism," Stewart said. "They come out and commit the same crimes."


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City Hall officials have been pushing state lawmakers in Albany to make changes to the state’s bail reform laws they feel are responsible for creating a revolving door. 

"Sometimes an officer will make an arrest and the person that they arrest is home before themselves," Chief Grandstaff said. 

But deploying these extra officers to patrol the subway comes with a hefty cost. 

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On Wednesday, city council members grilled NYPD officials about the department’s spike in overtime costs. In the hearing, officials said that the NYPD spends about $2.7 million daily on overtime.

But Stewart says look at the results. 

"There is no price on safety," Stewart said. "Safety is very important to us. If we have to pay extra for it we definitely will."

Governor Kathy Hochul recently deployed around a thousand National Guard members and state troopers to the subways to help with bag checks. Stewart says that while they appreciate the added help, the money could have been directed to NYPD overtime. 

"Because I'm NYPD, to NYPD, yes," Stewart said when asked if this money should have instead been directed to the NYPD instead of deploying National Guard. "The money should come to us. Our officers are definitely trained to work in transit. But you have the National Guard, they’re not really trained to be in the subway systems. But they will be working with us."

The MTA is also pushing to have every train car outfitted with surveillance cameras by the end of the year.