Adams renews support for more cops in subways after shooting in station
Borough President Eric Adams and local transit union leaders are on board with increased police presence in the subway system. They called for more safety measures in stations after the 7th Avenue B/Q station in Park Slope saw a shooting this past weekend.
Adams, a former transit cop, announced a partnership with the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District to install security cameras outside businesses near the Seventh Avenue station entrances to deter crime, citing a fight in the station Saturday morning that left one man shot and wounded. The move comes five days after the MTA board approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to hire 500 new cops to patrol the subway system.
“I do not know of this rosy picture of a transit system — that many people want to give the appearance that we’re out of dangerous times — when it comes down to public safety,” Adams said at a press conference outside the station Monday morning.
The city’s decision to put more police officers in subway stations earlier this year has upset transit advocates and police reform groups, who say that the transportation agency should focus on improving service, not adding enforcement. Some argue that the move could lead to an over-policing of black and brown New Yorkers.
The MTA’s move to hire 500 new cops would cost $250 million over the next four years.
Felonies and major crimes in the subway are down this year, while misdemeanors have increased. Adams cited a 50 percent increase of hate crimes, an 11.5 percent increase in robberies and a 10.6 percent increase in groping cases, as well as a rise in assaults on transit employees.
“We live in the subway. Crime has not gone down, it goes up,” said Lynwood Whichard, TWU Local 100 vice president of the stations department. “Any time a person is impacted by any sort of crime, it leaves them traumatized, not wanting to use the subway extensively over a long period of time.”
As hundreds more cops are sent to subway stations, Adams said the new hires must patrol effectively, a sentiment Maria Carreno of Park Slope echoed.
Carreno told the Brooklyn Eagle she never feels safe on the subway, but because police officers in stations don’t pay close enough attention to their surroundings, she said.
“They are on the phone, they don’t know what’s going on because they are talking, they are drinking coffee, it’s party time for the police department,” Carreno, 62, said. “And they’re going to hire more police? For what?”
Tim Hucklesby, a 36-year-old Park Slope resident, said he feels safe bringing his young daughter on the subway.
“I feel pretty safe on the subway,” Hucklesby said. “It’s very rare that I don’t take my daughter on it but I think police presence is fine.”
Adams also called for bystander intervention training to encourage other passengers to properly help when there is an incident.
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