NYC Subway Crime Spikes 30% Despite Beefed Up Transit Patrols
Send in the Ninja Turtles.
Subway crime in the New York City has jumped 30% in 2022 vs. one year ago, outpacing the 22% jump in major crimes across the city over the same period, Bloomberg reports, citing police data released this week.
The crime wave comes as an embarrassment to NYC Mayor Eric Adams (D) who deployed thousands of additional police patrols in the transit system in order to to reduce crime and put riders at ease.
"Once we stabilized that, we’re going to right-size," said Adams during a Thursday briefing, discussing the need to reduce the police force once crime is lower. "You’re going to see a normalizing of the number of people who are there."
The New York City Police Department is spending an additional $20 million per month on overtime costs on top of regular levels, which pushed its overtime spending to $272 million through November. That’s more than 70% of the annual overtime budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30, according to New York City Comptroller Brad Lander’s office. -Bloomberg
The rise in spending on the police comes as Adams grapples with critics who say the city isn't doing enough to tackle crime within the transit system. Ridership, meanwhile, has to 60% of 2019 levels.
Some City Council members, meanwhile, say the additional funding should be sent on other services such as schools and libraries.
Even though @NYCMayor says we need to defund libraries and senior centers to stay afloat, he wants to ADD officers to the largest police force in the US.— Council Member Tiffany Cabán (D22) (@CabanD22) January 5, 2023
It’s a vicious cycle: cut social services, violence increases, respond with more police, cut social services to afford them. pic.twitter.com/FAi2Yop9D4
On Thursday, NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said the additional subway patrols resulted in a 4.6% reduction in major crime in the transit system between Oct. 31 - Dec. 31, vs. the same period in 2021.
"This plan is paying dividends," said Kemper, who was probably told the plan needed to pay dividends, or else. "We went from a very concerning increase in crime for the first 10 months of the year to a sharp turnaround during the last nine weeks of the year."
In October, Adams and NY Governor Kathy Hochul pledged 1,200 overtime NYPD shifts in order to back the nearly 2,600 subway cops.
According to the Police Benevolent Association, which represents over 24,000 NYPD officers, said that the beefed up pace was unsustainable, and that the city was "underpaying and overworking cops."