NYC Mayor's plan to "improve" metro policing panned

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Last week we covered the surge in violent crime taking place in New York City subways after Mayor Bill de Blasio pulled a significant percentage of the metro police out of the stations last year. The move was done to please the “abolish the police” movement who claimed that cops were responsible for much of the violence taking place in the metro system. The result has been anarchy and daily reports of violent crimes and random attacks with few uniformed officers around to control the situation. In February, de Blasio announced that there would be a 20% increase in police staffing at the terminals, but that claim was quickly disputed. On Tuesday, Hizzoner told reporters that he would be deploying an additional 250 officers to handle the rapidly deteriorating situation. The response to that announcement has been tepid at best among both the police unions and the straphangers who are returning to daily commuting as the city reopens. (CBS New York)

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio defended himself after Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials called his new approach “irresponsible,” CBS2’s John Dias reported…

All of it went down on the same day the mayor announced 250 more uniform officers would patrol the rails. The initial plan is to deploy them during peak hours, but some commuters say there are other time periods that need the coverage more.

“I think that it’s backward,” Tanisha Bell said. “More police during the night time and evening hours.”

Both the number of officers allegedly being deployed and the timing of their shifts are being openly mocked in the city. There are 472 stations in the New York City metro system and they run 24 hours per day. This increase would barely put one more officer in half of the stations and they’re only there for one shift each. Also, crime is actually at the lowest during the crowded, daytime rush-hour traffic. It’s far worse at night when the tunnels fill with homeless people. Why aren’t the additional officers being deployed at night?

Also, the February announcement of a 20% increase in police staffing is being decried as a red herring. An MTA official said that many of those extra officers have already been withdrawn, and the ones who remain are only there for partial shifts. The transit official politely described the Mayor’s handling of this as “irresponsible.”

The Mayor attempted to defend himself yesterday by blaming the police. He said, “You know, the MTA has had vacancies in their police for now a year and a half that they haven’t filled. Why don’t they take care of their own house?

Seriously? You’re going to blame the cops for the lack of police officers? This is the same Mayor who trashed his own police force publicly for years and slashed their budget by nearly a billion dollars. Morale has been at all-time lows and the NYPD can’t attract enough recruits these days to replace the record number of officers taking early retirement or just quitting. Now that the metro is turning into a real-life scene out of Escape From New York, he has the nerve to blame the cops?

And just how bad is it getting on the subway? Really bad.

“It was so dangerous. Everybody started screaming on the train,” said Shelly Nerine of Jamaica, Queens. Nerine said just the other day she witnessed a homeless man attack another passenger, simply for sitting next to him.

“The guy got up and started punching him in his face,” Nerine said.

Police said a 23-year-old man was stabbed in an unprovoked attack while exiting a C train at the Kingston-Throop Avenues station in Brooklyn at around 6 p.m. on Monday.

It’s the Mayor’s job to keep his citizens safe. Policing is job one when it comes to that responsibility. But Bill de Blasio has driven the NYPD into decline and the criminals in his city have noticed. Thankfully he’ll be out of office next year, but the voters of the Big Apple who repeatedly put him back in City Hall are going to have to do much better with their next selection or New York will continue to go to pieces.