NEW YORK — Hundreds of police officers have been deployed to patrol subway stations amid a recent rise in subway crimes.
Another 700 NYPD transit officers have been assigned to patrol subway stations following a surge of crime — short of the 1,000 the transit authority requested.
MTA Chairman Pate Foye told PIX11 the rationale behind the agency’s requested 1,000 additional officers came from looking at the staffing levels that existed in 1995 when the transit police merged with the NYPD. At that point there were well over 4,000 officers patrolling the subways, according to Foye.
Prior to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s addition of officers, Foye said there were about 2,400 officers deployed to patrol the transit system.
“We firmly believe that we need an additional 1,000 officers over the 500 that the commissioner added. I think it’s a question of both customer perceptions and safety,” he said.
Foye said customers have to feel safe and secure to have them return to the system, and to help customers feel safe, the MTA needs additional police and mental health resources.
With the increase in subway crime, Foye said there are certain lines considered “hot spots,” which will likely be where officers have been deployed, but reiterated they need “additional feet on the ground” to convey to customers that they will be safe while riding the subway.
The MTA has also cautioned commuters to avoid travel Thursday and Friday if they can due to the snow.
Foye said their 40-foot buses have been chained up and they will be running at about 75% of usual service and closely monitoring the winter storm.
It is unlikely outdoor subway stations will close, but Foye said they will constantly monitor the snow forecast and make adjustments, if needed.
He also cautioned customers to be careful on subway platforms and stairways.