Surge in Subway Violence Linked to Decrease in Policing, Data Shows

A recent analysis of data by The Post reveals a concerning correlation between the decrease in police presence in the New York City subway system and a surge in subway violence. The number of police officers patrolling the subways dropped to levels not seen in years, coinciding with a rise in crime underground. The examination of policing power in the subways comes as the NYPD has responded to three homicides in the span of a month by deploying an additional 1,000 officers per day.

The data shows that crime fell by as much as 8% during previous periods of increased police patrols on the subways. In October 2022, a surge in subway policing was announced by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams after a series of homicides and hate crimes, primarily targeting Asian Americans. This surge, funded by a $60 million state grant and an additional $70 million in city funding, resulted in a decrease in crime rates by December 2022.

However, by October of the following year, subway police patrols had dipped to levels unseen since the de Blasio administration, and the crime rate climbed to 2.32 major felonies per million riders. The analysis, which compared the number of patrols reported in the system each month between November 2021 and December 2023, revealed a tight correlation between the number of patrols and the crime rate. Months with 125,000 patrols or more saw an average of 8.4% less crime compared to those with fewer than 100,000 patrols.

The recent surge in police presence underground has primarily relied on officers usually assigned to duties above ground, many of whom are likely working overtime. However, police sources have warned that this strategy is not sustainable in the long term. The strain on police resources, morale, and taxpayer funds due to excessive overtime has raised concerns about the feasibility of relying solely on this approach.

The NYPD, which declined to comment on the findings, has faced scrutiny over its spending and overtime practices. The decision to allocate additional funds for subway policing has raised questions about the allocation of resources, particularly as other areas, such as libraries, have experienced budget cuts.

The recent increase in subway violence has prompted officials to reevaluate their approach to policing the subways. The data suggests that sustained and adequate police presence is crucial in maintaining public safety and deterring criminal activity. The challenge lies in finding a balance between effective policing and managing limited resources.

As the city grapples with this issue, Chief Michael Kemper of the NYPD’s transit division acknowledged the need for sustainability in subway policing efforts. He emphasized the immediate impact of investments in crime reduction but acknowledged the reliance on overtime funding as a temporary solution.

Author: CrimeDoor

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