Mayor Adams And Governor Hochul Announce New Subway Safety Plan

Following an increase in crime within New York City subways, 1,200 new NYPD shifts have been added.

Photo Courtesy / YouTube CBS New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a new plan to reduce the amount of violence on the subways on Oct. 22. The plan has been described as a “strategy of cops, cameras, and care” by Hochul in her news conference.

The plan adds dedicated service units to help the unhoused population at psychiatric centers, increasing training for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police (MTA), New York Police Department (NYPD), first responders and paramedics.Emergency medical service units will train to engage with the unhoused population and provide transportation for psychiatric evaluation. The NYPD will add 1,200 overtime shifts during peak hours at over 300 subway stations around the city. 

“The bottom line is that riders will see more officers in the system and so will those thinking of breaking the law,” Adams said during the news conference. The increased number of officers is aimed to deter potential crime and provide serious mental health aid by training officers on ways to refer and transport those requiring aid to the necessary facilities.

“There have been way more cops at the stations,” said Alex Slyusarchuk, a freshman St. John’s student who commutes from the Middle Village. “There have also been more transit workers checking fares and NYPD on the trains. I think increasing cops on trains and stations [is] good and should increase further.”

While some students believe the increase is positive, others are against it. “While good in theory, the NYPD are not the most reliable and often show up after a crime has happened rather than being there to prevent it,” said Panayiota Psarris, a freshman from Astoria, Queens. “For many New Yorkers of color, they report that they are more afraid on the subways with police around.”

Adams and Hochul’s initiatives will also come with the addition of psychiatric care facilities. Hochul has directed the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to open two new Transition to Home Units (THU).

This new program helps homeless people experiencing severe mental illness by providing them with care from OMH’s Center of Excellence for Psychopharmacological Care if desired. It will launch two new 25-bed inpatient units, one of which will open at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center by Nov. 1. The other will launch by early next year.

Hochul has also announced the plan to add camera coverage to over 6,500 subway cars. The program will add camera coverage to the entire subway car fleet in late 2024.