Hochul to deploy National Guard to combat NYC subway crime

  • Hochul's five-point plan aims to use state resources to boost subway safety
  • NYPD: Transit crime up 13% this year compared to same period in 2022
  • Mayor Adams says city will reinstate bag checks in the subway system

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will deploy New York National Guard soldiers and New York State Police officers to assist police in strengthening subway safety in the wake of several violent incidents.

Hochul’s announcement Wednesday is part of a series of actions outlined in her new five-point plan that aims to use state resources to combat subway crime in New York City. She said 750 members of the National Guard, 250 State Police personnel and MTA police will perform checks “in the city’s busiest stations.”

They’ll work with the New York Police Department to ensure no weapons are brought into the subways.

“No one heading to their job or to visit family or go to a doctor appointment should worry that the person sitting next to them possesses a deadly weapon,” Hochul said.

She added that a large show of force in the system would help commuters and visitors to the city feel safe.

Additionally, Hochul’s plan proposes a bill to allow judges to ban more violent offenders from the system, add new cameras for conductor cabins, increase prosecutorial and law enforcement coordination and deploy more outreach teams.

She’s calling for people deemed too dangerous by a judge to be banned from the subway and pushing for a state law that allows judges to block a person from riding the subway or buses for three years if they’re convicted of attacking a passenger. Additionally, she plans to ask district attorneys to coordinate to keep repeat offenders out of the transit system.

“Anyone looking to do harm or spread fear on our subways, you will be caught — plain and simple. There will be consequences. This has to end. New Yorkers deserve no less, and to those who are feeling anxious whenever they walk through those turnstiles, we will stop at nothing to keep you safe — you and your family members — and restore your peace of mind,” Hochul said.

Hochul’s announcement comes a day after New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to resume heightened security measures, including bag checks, at select stations across the city’s five boroughs.

“That’s going to be resuming in probably the next week or so,” Adams said during a briefing with reporters. “There was always a version taking place. They may elevate and escalate it a little more.”

Adams said Tuesday recidivism is a large problem, with a small number of people committing a large portion of subway crimes. He promised to ramp up security underground and said bag checks are coming back. 

Adams’ announcement came amid a string of violent crimes in the subway system.

On Sunday, a 64-year-old man was kicked on the tracks at Penn Station, causing bleeding in his brain, NewsNation affiliate WPIX reported.

Last week, a MTA conductor was slashed in the neck and nearly bled out but was saved by a doctor on board.

NYPD data shows transit crime is up 13% this year compared to the same period in 2023. Adams said the number of crimes is small compared to the number of people using the system, but the crimes that occur are disturbing, according to WPIX.

Crime

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