Home » Governor Hochul Mobilizes National Guard to Combat Rising Subway Violence in NYC

Governor Hochul Mobilizes National Guard to Combat Rising Subway Violence in NYC

by Richard A Reagan

In a decisive response to escalating violence in New York City’s subway system, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the deployment of 1,000 National Guardsmen alongside state and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) police officers to bolster safety and conduct bag checks across the city’s transit network. [Source]

This move, reminiscent of measures taken in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, aims to restore order and peace in the subway, following a disturbing uptick in violent incidents, including shootings, stabbings, and assaults on passengers and MTA workers.

Governor Hochul, addressing the urgent need for increased security, declared, “These brazen heinous attacks on our subway system will not be tolerated.”

The initiative follows close collaboration with Mayor Eric Adams, MTA officials, and the New York Police Department (NYPD), underscoring a united front against transit crime.

The deployment includes 750 National Guardsmen and 250 state and MTA police officers tasked with patrolling the city’s busiest stations and implementing bag checks.

This strategy is part of Hochul’s comprehensive five-point plan to combat transit crime, which also includes legislative proposals to ban convicted assault perpetrators from public transportation and enhance surveillance across the subway system.

“For people who are thinking about bringing a gun or knife on the subway, at least this creates a deterrent effect. They might be thinking, ‘You know what, it just may just not be worth it because I listened to the mayor and I listened to the governor and they have a lot more people who are going to be checking my bags,’” Hochul said at a news conference in New York City.

Despite recent efforts by Mayor Adams to increase NYPD presence and adjust patrol strategies, resulting in a 15% reduction in subway crime for February, the overall crime rate in the subway has risen by 13% this year. The spike in violence has sparked widespread concern among commuters and calls for decisive action.

Critics have raised concerns about the deployment’s effectiveness and necessity, with State Senator John Liu cautioning against “off the cuff” solutions and emphasizing the need for sustained efforts.

Meanwhile, a National Guard source recalled the rarity of such deployments, the last being approximately 20 years ago, and stressed the capability of the NYPD if properly supported.

Mayor Adams, who was not present at Governor Hochul’s announcement due to attending a funeral, later endorsed the plan as a step in the “right direction,” highlighting ongoing discussions for additional funding to support these and other safety initiatives. [Source]

“We know people feel unsafe. We are reinstituting bag checks. There are several things we are reinstituting in the system,” Adams said during the announcement at City Hall on Tuesday.

Among the notable aspects of Hochul’s plan are legislative measures to allow judges to ban individuals convicted of transit assaults from using public transportation, the installation of CCTV cameras in all train cars and conductor cabins, and the allocation of $20 million to expand the Subway Co-Response Outreach mental health teams. 

Commuters have expressed mixed feelings about the new security measures. While some, like Trina Banks from Brooklyn, welcome the increased sense of safety, others, such as Joshua Denecke from Long Island, argue that true change requires addressing deeper issues, such as bail reform, to ensure that violent offenders are held accountable.

The coming weeks and months will be critical in assessing the effectiveness of these measures and their impact on the daily lives of millions of New Yorkers.

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