Governor of New York Sending 750 National Guard Members to Patrol NYC Subway System

( — On Wednesday, March 6, Democrat Governor of New York State, Kathy Hochul, announced that 750 national guard troops, as well as 250 New York State Police and MTA Police Department personnel, will be deployed to increase safety on New York City subways. She is also encouraging the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to accelerate their plans to install more security cameras, and she is introducing new legislation that would ban people who have committed assault on public transit systems from using them for up to 3 years.

Hochul has referred to all of this as part of her 5-point plan to “rid the subways” of violent offenders and protect staff and riders alike. While opponents of the governor’s plans suggest she is overreacting to isolated incidents and point out that crime is overall down in New York City since the spike during the pandemic, there have been 388 major crimes committed on the subways just in the past year, including at least 97 assaults and 3 murders. Danny Pearlstein, of the activist group Riders Alliance, is worried Hochul’s plan will increase the perception of crime on public transit.

NYPD Chief of Patrol, John Chell, took to the social media platform X to criticize Hochul’s plans, arguing that transit crime is already falling thanks to New York City Mayor Eric Adams deploying extra police. However, Hochul insists that she and Mayor Adams are “on the same page” and working closely together on the problem. Furthermore, she adds that Adams has come to her with five requests, and she has granted all of them. Adams was unable to be with her during her public announcement because he was attending a funeral.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has characterized the use of the national guard in subway stations as “militarizing” them and said the bans she has proposed for convicted violent offenders from the use of subways further criminalize the public who utilize public transport. He suggested she should use the funding for addressing the root causes of violence, although part of the 5-point plan includes $20 million for Subway Co-Response Outreach Teams (SCOUT), which would be led by mental health clinicians. Hochul, who has branded herself as a centrist politician, says that she is going to fight the perception that Democrats cannot fight crime as well as Republicans.

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