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NYPD bolsters subway patrols in response to surge in crime, transit chief reveals

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Amidst a spate of high-profile incidents within New York City’s subway system, including recent fatalities in the Bronx, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has escalated its subterranean presence, according to the agency’s transit chief.

NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper disclosed during an interview with NY1 anchor Dean Meminger that the agency is actively addressing one of these incidents, the fatal altercation aboard a D train in the Bronx on Friday, which claimed the life of 45-year-old William Alvarez.

Initially, authorities had not determined the cause of Alvarez’s death, but Kemper clarified on Sunday that the city’s medical examiner has confirmed it as a gunshot wound, marking a significant escalation in the severity of subway-related violence.

Moreover, Kemper highlighted another recent incident, where one person was killed and five others injured in a shooting at a subway station in Mount Eden earlier this month. He noted that the NYPD has identified three suspects linked to Friday’s homicide, emphasizing the pivotal role of surveillance footage in these investigations.

Reflecting on January’s statistics, Kemper noted a surge of over 45% in subway-related crime, predominantly driven by grand larcenies, encompassing thefts and pickpocketing. In response to this alarming trend, both City Hall and NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban have made substantial investments in bolstering public safety measures, including the deployment of over 1,000 additional officers daily into the subway system since the onset of February.

The intensified police presence has yielded promising results, with overall crime declining by nearly 18% from February 1 to February 24, signaling a concerted effort to stabilize and ultimately reduce subway-related criminal activity.

Kemper underscored the proactive enforcement measures undertaken by law enforcement, citing significant increases in arrests across various categories, including quality-of-life offenses, fare evasion, and weapon-related infractions. To sustain this heightened vigilance, transit officers are working extended shifts, spanning 10 to 12 hours, with the aid of overtime allocations to accommodate the augmented staffing levels.

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