Mar 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

New York governor to deploy National Guard onto subways

 People wait to board a B line subway train at the Columbus Circle - 59th Street station on February 26, 2024, in New York City. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

People wait to board a subway train on Feb. 26 in New York City. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Hundreds of National Guard troops and additional law enforcement will start patrolling New York subways and helping conduct bag checks this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

The big picture: The move, which follows a string of violent crimes on the metro, is part of a five-point plan intended to target incidents on New York's subways as the number of arrests for major crimes in the transit system rose 45% this year.

  • While a vast police presence already exists in New York's subways, Mayor Eric Adams also ordered 1,000 additional officers to be stationed last month following a spike in transit crime.
  • The influx of officers resulted in a 15.4% drop in crime in February compared to the same month a year ago, according to the NYPD.

Zoom in: The governor's five-point plan "to protect New Yorkers on the subway" includes increasing public safety personnel and adding security cameras.

  • The 1,000 additional officers — 750 from the National Guard and 250 from New York State Police and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) — will help "the NYPD's enhanced baggage checks at heavily trafficked areas."
  • The plan also includes introducing legislation to allow judges to ban people convicted of an assault within the system from using MTA services as part of sentencing.
  • Additionally, $20 million is being allocated to expand the state's pilot program that addresses the mental health crises within the subway system.

What they're saying: Hochul said she's "laser-focused" on reducing subway crime and protecting New Yorkers.

  • "My five-point plan will rid our subways of violent offenders and protect all commuters and transit workers," she said. "I am sending a message to all New Yorkers: I will not stop working to keep you safe and restore your peace of mind whenever you walk through those turnstiles."

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