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Brooklynites react to plan to put a cop on every subway line

NYPD Plan Designed to Deter Slashings

March 2, 2016 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In response to the recent pattern of slashings on the New York City subways, the NYPD is set to put a police officer on every train at night. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

There was yet another slashing in Brooklyn early Monday morning. The victim was slashed after he woke up a sleeping straphanger who happened to be an ex-convict who had previously been arrested for stabbing someone to death with an ice pick.

The incident — which took place at 3:15 a.m. on the Queens-bound subway platform at the Classon Avenue G train station — brings the total number of 2016 slashings in New York City’s metro system to 16.  

In light of this new trend of subway violence, police sources said on Tuesday that the NYPD is planning on putting an officer on every train at night.

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“That’s what we used to do,” a police source said, referring to the 1980s and ’90s. “It’s omnipresence. This way, people never know when or where the cops are going to be. When people don’t see the police, the inmates are running the asylum. They don’t see any authority.”

Prior to this week’s news of an increased NYPD presence on subways, Police Commissioner William Bratton had downplayed the recent pattern of slashings in a Feb. 1 interview on the John Gambling radio program “The Answer” on 970 AM.

“This is New York, and occasionally, the media and police get focused on a series of incidents, and that’s what happened here,” Bratton said of the subway savagery.

“In the subway system … the most constant concern, the more significant concern in terms of actual numbers … is pickpocketing and theft of electronic equipment.”

About an hour after Bratton finished the interview, another victim was slashed.


According to the New York Post, “the Manhattan Transit Task Force will pull 60 cops from around the city for the overnight train duty as early as the end of the week.”

The Post reported that “beefing up police presence on the subways is a tactic that has been used off and on throughout the years as problems arise, and was last done before 2013. The department stopped the policy in 2013 after a drop in subway crime.”

The officers on overnight train duty would work their normal 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shifts, but would be relocated to the subway from their normal locations. Cops will not be deployed during daytime hours due to a lack of mobility from overcrowding in cars.

Following the announcement from the NYPD, the Brooklyn Eagle spoke to local residents to find out what they think of the new strategy.

Jonathan Watkins, a 25-year-old Crown Heights resident, thinks that while the plan is a good idea on paper, it’s not realistic. He suggested that it may simply be a ploy by the NYPD to pacify the media.  

Police on every train “would make the subway safer because there will be someone you can depend on to make you secure,” said Watkins, “but I don’t see it as realistic. The subway’s just too big.”  

Ed Sanders, 48, an MTA bus operator from East Flatbush, agrees that the proposal is not realistic.

“It would be good, because these slashings are happening too randomly and too often, but it’s impossible to patrol every train and bus. It’s just not cost effective.”

Sanders suggested that there should be more protection not only for commuters, but also for MTA empoyees.

“[These slashings] aren’t just happening on the subway — they’re happening on the buses and on the platforms, too, with subway cleaners,” said Sanders. “We were just up in Albany lobbying for more protection for transit workers.”


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