The fatal stabbings of two homeless people in the New York City subway system over the weekend has sparked a debate between state and city officials over how to keep riders feeling safe.
Officials at the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority seized on the killings to call for the New York Police Department to deploy an additional 1,000 police officers in the nation’s largest public-transit system.
Sarah Feinberg, the MTA’s interim head of the subway and bus systems, said this week that she and her colleagues have made 30 requests in the past 18 months for more police officers and mental-health professionals to patrol transit. The authority says it would like to see 4,000 NYPD officers in the system.
City officials said Tuesday they would add 644 NYPD officers for a total of about 3,000 officers patrolling the sprawling system. They said such levels are sufficient and that the main challenge isn’t crime but the perception of crime.
NYPD officials say major crimes on the subway fell 31% last year compared with the previous year. “I think our subway system is the safest large transportation system in the world,” NYPD Chief of Transit Kathleen O’Reilly said at a news conference Tuesday.
Source: WSJ – US News