Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
Mayor Eric Adams said he will double the number of police officers patrolling the transit system after a mass shooting at a subway station in Sunset Park left over two dozen people injured. Police on Wednesday identified 62-year-old Frank James as the suspect; they believe James detonated a smoke device and began shooting on an N train during rush hour Tuesday morning. The additional deployment comes after Adams deployed 1,000 additional officers earlier this year because of a recent uptick in crime on the subway.
After Adams added 1,000 officers earlier this year, there are about 3,500 police officers typically deployed throughout the system, as amNY reported in January.
“I will say to New Yorkers we’re going to hold the day tour of the transit police officers to double the number of officers that are traditionally patrolling the system,” Adams said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday. The mayor tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday and has been quarantined at Gracie Mansion this week.
A spokesperson for the mayor told City and State on Tuesday the day shift workers would stay through the night “so New Yorkers will see an omnipresence of transit police on subway platforms.” The mayor has not said how long the extra police presence will remain in the system.
“We’re telling passengers if they see something, say something, and do something by communicating with the law enforcement officers who will be in the system,” Adams said in an interview on WNYC Tuesday. “I want my officers riding the train, at the stations. We need that omnipresence.”
Tuesday’s shooting is another challenge for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has been working to lure riders back to the system as the city recovers from the pandemic and as it grapples with an increase in violent incidences. While ridership has remained over three million on weekdays, that is still about 60 percent of what it was pre-pandemic.
On Wednesday morning as New Yorkers headed into work, the mayor’s administration encouraged riders to take the subway. A tweet from the official New York City government account read:
“@NYCTSubway is up and running this morning and so is your city. We’re standing strong thanks to the resilience of New Yorkers. NYC subway is up and running this morning and so is your city. We’re standing strong thanks to the resilience of New Yorkers.”
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