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Adams supports Hochul’s subway safety initiative

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Mayor Eric Adams has expressed his backing for Governor Kathy Hochul’s deployment of additional security personnel to enhance safety measures within New York City’s subway system. Speaking at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Adams commended the presence of uniformed personnel, stating, “The presence of a uniform makes people feel better. And if the National Guard or the state police want to add to that presence, I applaud that.”

Acknowledging the paramount importance of ensuring the public’s sense of security, Mayor Adams emphasized the city’s commitment to addressing concerns related to subway safety. He underscored the significance of public perception, stating, “I can tell New Yorkers every day that out of the 4 million riders, that only six felonies happen, but if people don’t feel safe, that means nothing.”

Governor Hochul’s initiative, launched in response to a surge in transit-related crimes, involved the deployment of 750 members from the New York Army National Guard, alongside 250 officers from the New York State Police and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police, to conduct bag checks within the subway network. Transit crime has seen a notable increase of 13% over the past year.

Addressing queries regarding Mayor Adams’ absence during the initial announcement of the plan, Governor Hochul clarified that scheduling constraints were a factor, affirming the close collaboration between her office and the mayor’s team in developing the comprehensive five-point strategy. Hochul emphasized the necessity of immediate action, citing the urgency conveyed by transit officials.

In response to concerns about prioritizing resource allocation, Governor Hochul defended her decision to bolster law enforcement presence rather than solely allocating additional funding. She emphasized the immediate tangible impact of deploying personnel, stating, “If you want money, money comes in budgets. If I handed you money, that day would not have materialized into more people being hired and helping out.”

Mayor Adams refrained from directly addressing inquiries regarding a preference between increased NYPD overtime funding and the augmented presence of the National Guard, expressing a desire for both while emphasizing the importance of strategic resource allocation. He highlighted the significance of utilizing available funding effectively to address pressing safety concerns within the transit system.

Governor Hochul outlined additional measures included in her subway safety plan, such as provisions for mental health services and granting judges discretion to impose bans on individuals from the subway for up to three years. She reiterated her stance against militarizing the subway, emphasizing restrictions on the use of “long guns” by the National Guard as part of the ongoing efforts to enhance public safety.

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