The NYPD announced that 500 more police officers will patrol New York City subway stations after four attacks resulted in two deaths in the past 24 hours.
“We will immediately deploy a number of officers to patrol both above and below the premises to ensure that everyone who drives our transit system on a daily basis is not only safe, but is just as importantly feeling safe,” said NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea held a press conference on Saturday afternoon.
“This increase will result in an additional 500 officers, which will mean a significant increase in the staffing of our transit office, and they will be deployed across New York City immediately.”
TERRIBLE WEEK INCLUDES 5 NYC SUBWAY SLASHINGS AND BUS DRIVER ASSAULT
Shortly before midnight on Friday, a grown man was pronounced dead after being stabbed in the neck and torso on the A train.
About two hours later, in the early hours of Saturday morning, an unconscious 45-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
A 67-year-old man and a 43-year-old individual were also stabbed on the A train in the past 24 hours, although their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
NYPD transit chief Kathleen O’Reilly said Saturday that at least three of the incidents appear to be interrelated and the department is checking to see if all four knife wounds were committed by the same person.
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The lashes, which occurred on Friday and Saturday mornings, were due to a spate of seemingly random attacks on NYC subway stations.
Despite a sharp drop in the number of drivers due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of violent crimes such as assault, rape and murder increased by mid-November last year compared to 2019, according to the New York Times.
Despite the rise in crime, Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted this week that the subways have “become safer” compared to recent years.
“We had an incredible and total disruption in 2020, our entire life is upside down, a global pandemic, a perfect storm,” said de Blasio at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I am convinced that we can make sure the subways are safe and that more and more people are returning to the subways. If we need to move NYPD staff more onto the subways, we definitely will to do.”
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Sarah Feinberg, interim president of NYC Transit, and Tony Utano, president of TWU Local 100, issued a joint statement on Saturday condemning the “recent horrific attacks on the subway system”.
“We have asked the city to include more police in the system and to do more to support those in urgent need of psychological help,” said Feinberg and Utano on Saturday. “We demand that additional resources are brought into the system in order to address this challenge immediately.”