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Subway Safety Concerns Rise as Crime Rates Soar and Solutions Fall Short

In a disconcerting turn of events, crime rates in the New York City subway system have surged by 20% during the first two months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, according to recent NYPD data. This alarming trend comes on the heels of a violent incident at the Queens Plaza subway station in Long Island City, where a foreign tourist was viciously slashed in the neck by an unidentified assailant last week.

The lack of progress in apprehending the perpetrator has left commuters and nearby office workers on edge, with some expressing fear about their safety. A manager at a major company’s headquarters in the vicinity revealed that employees were hesitant to enter the office due to concerns over the unresolved crime.

In response to these mounting safety concerns, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has unveiled a rather unconventional solution: investing $21 million in new light bulbs. MTA President Rich Davey claims that brighter stations will contribute to a safer environment. However, critics argue that this move seems misguided, especially considering the subway system’s age and the pressing need for more substantial improvements.

The MTA’s track record in addressing safety issues has been less than stellar. Previous attempts, such as employing orange-vested turnstile guards to deter fare evasion, have proven ineffective. These guards, who were initially expected to discourage lawbreakers, have devolved into mere greeters, lacking the authority to fine or arrest offenders.

Another failed initiative involved the installation of swinging gates aimed at preventing unauthorized access. Despite the hefty price tag of $700,000 for a single subway station, a TikTok user quickly discovered a simple hack that rendered the gates useless, allowing individuals to bypass them effortlessly.

The ill-fated $12,500 K5 Knightscope police robot, deployed at the Times Square subway station, also fell short of expectations. After a mere six months of lackluster performance, the robot was decommissioned, leaving many questioning the effectiveness of such technological solutions.

Mayor Adams has recently proposed a more practical approach by increasing the presence of human NYPD officers in subway stations and on platforms. However, with a diminished police force due to resignations over the past two years, officers assigned to transit duty may face grueling 12-hour shifts. Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton expressed concerns about the lack of experience among these officers, emphasizing their preference for street duty rather than subway assignments.

Author: CrimeDoor

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