Cops seen in only 14% of subway stations on average: MTA data

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NEW YORK — The MTA is wondering where the police officers are in the subway system after data from their own system-wide study appears to show that most subway stations had little or no police presence in recent weeks.

According to data shared by an MTA source, employees made 2,928 station visits between May 12 and May 24.

On average, they saw a police presence in just 14% of stations visited.

At the lowest point, police were observed at only 1% of stations visited on May 13, the data shows. Comparatively, on May 21 there was a police presence at 31% of stations tracked.

“I have no way to know how that study was done or if they’re accurate,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told PIX11 Wednesday morning in response to the findings. “We’re certainly not in every station at every time, but believe me, they’re out there and they’re doing the best they can.”

The NYPD Transit Bureau is set to present its latest crime statistics to the MTA at its regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday. One of those stats is expected to be a 68% increase in felony assaults in the subway system in April.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised the NYPD would deploy an additional 250 officers in the subways. This comes after the city sent 500 officers underground in February.

So, how many officers are actually patrolling the subways?

“It’s a fluid number,” Shea said. “There’s times where we’ve had more and there’s been times where we had less.”

The commissioner also said he understands everyone wants to see more officers and that seeing cops make people feel safer.

Shea said the force prioritizes police presence in the subways depending on where the most crimes are happening, where most riders are and the time of day.

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