Eric Adams needs to move faster to salvage the subways

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Ten days ago, after observing an alarming spike in violent crimes on the New York City subway system, particularly involving homeless individuals, Mayor Eric Adams put into motion his plan to bring the situation under control. He deployed additional police officers to all subway platforms on every shift. Health care workers, paired up with police officers, were dispatched to try to relocate the homeless and provide help to those dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues. Unfortunately, after a little more than a week, the results were not what Gotham’s residents had been hoping. Crime rates over the past week jumped up even further, reaching levels 200% above what was seen during the same period last year. And many of the attacks taking place in the tunnels are increasingly violent. (Fox News)

New York City subway crimes skyrocketed by more than 200% this past week compared to the same time in 2021, after several reports of heinous attacks in the transit system and despite Mayor Eric Adams’s crackdown efforts.

There were 55 subway crimes reported from Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 27, compared to the 18 during the same time in 2021 – a 205.6% jump, according to New York Police Department (NYPD) statistics released Wednesday. Subway crimes statistics also increased 72.4% for the most recent 28-day period, and 72.8% year-to-date compared to the same time last year, the data show.

There have been 375 subway crimes reported this year as of Feb. 27, compared to the 217 during the same period in 2021, the NYPD found.

To be fair to the Mayor, one week is simply not enough time to turn around a problem of this magnitude that has been festering for years under Bill de Blasio’s tenure. The New York City subway system is massive, with almost 250 miles of tunnels and trackway and 472 active stations. You can’t just flip a switch and make that much territory safe overnight.

But I think people were at least expecting to see the crime rates stabilize and perhaps start to inch downward. Instead, it seems as if the homeless and the army of criminals down there are fighting back against the newly expanded police presence. Some of the people brave enough to dare to descend into the tunnels told reports that there had been no appreciable decrease in the number of homeless people sleeping there since the new policies took effect.

Some of the city’s denizens who took that risk paid dearly for their efforts. On the day that the expanded police forces showed up, a 42-year-old man standing on a Brooklyn subway platform was attacked by a homeless man wielding a hatchet. The suspect was found to have other crude, sharp weapons on him. A few days later, a 57-year-old research scientist was riding the train when she was seemingly randomly attacked and beaten with a hammer. She was hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured skull and bleeding from the brain. Over the weekend, a man was shot in the chest at a Brooklyn subway station. The list of attacks goes on at length.

I’m not going to fault Adams for failing to produce stunning results in only a few days. At least he’s trying and putting the city’s money where his mouth is. But until the situation gets more under control, he may have to actually boost the police presence in the subways significantly higher than it was in the era before Bill de Blasio started making all of the cuts. What he plans to do with all of the homeless in the tunnels remains a mystery, but he’s going to have to find someplace for them to go. He’s the guy who asked for this job, and now it’s time to get it done.