NYC Brings Back Subway Bag Checks Amid Crime Surge

( – Mayor Eric Adams has announced that the NYPD will be reintroducing and strengthening bag checks at specific subway stations as soon as next week.

The announcement is part of a plan aiming to tackle the climbing rates of crime happening within the subway system. The new enhanced security measures will involve deploying nearly 100 bag screening teams to 136 subway stations weekly, with the selection of locations being set by intelligence about the area, assessments of threats, and the number of passengers. To address public concerns about subway safety, Adams underlined the importance of a visible police presence.

While the mayor didn’t immediately disclose the specific stations targeted for the new security measures, he emphasized the ongoing review of new technology for detecting metal objects entering the transit system. However, no plans have been finalized for this. The implementation of such a system has many drawbacks and can result in creating more issues than it solves.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s office expressed support for the NYPD’s efforts, with plans to allocate additional people from the state, including the National Guard, to assist in bag checks. The governor has been committed to enhancing subway safety, including initiatives like security cameras and mental health personnel.

A rising number of subway crimes, some resulting in deaths and injuries across the city, are the main reason for the increased security measures. Recent incidents include a person being kicked onto the tracks at New York Penn Station, and several stabbings and assaults within a short period of time. The union has urged the MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) to deploy its police force to patrol subway lines.

Subway crime has seen a huge increase compared to 2023, with assaults up by 11%. Three murders have been reported in the first two months of 2024, which is noteworthy, because there were none during the same period in 2023.

New measures, including legislation to protect riders, are expected to be unveiled soon.

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