MTA calls for 1,000 more NYPD cops in subways after stabbings
The request comes after a series of fatal stabbings over the weekend
By Clayton Guse
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — MTA officials called on the NYPD to flood the subway with 1,000 additional cops after a mentally ill homeless man went on a rampage over the weekend, stabbing four people, two fatally, during a horrifying 14-hour stretch.
The bloody attacks — which all targeted homeless New Yorkers — were the latest in a wave of high profile crimes that transit officials said must be met with the full force of the country’s largest police department.
The NYPD deployed an additional 500 cops into the subways on Saturday in a blitz to catch the stabbing suspect, Rigoberto Lopez, 21, who was charged Sunday with murder and attempted murder.
That’s not enough, says Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Pat Foye and interim NYC Transit president Sarah Feinberg.
The pair sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio Sunday calling for the 500 to remain and for an additional 1,000 cops to be sent to patrol the city’s subways and bus system, which would bring the total officer increase to 1,500.
“We request teams of uniformed officers be assigned to every station and that officers ride the system throughout the day and during the overnight to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues,” the letter said. “The fact is that we all see a disturbing trend above ground and below ground, which as you know began prior to the pandemic, and now has been exacerbated by the acute mental health crisis we are facing.”
The NYPD Transit Bureau employs roughly 2,500 cops, said a police spokesperson.
Mayor de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
City-employed cops have patrolled the subway since 1995, when the NYC Transit police forces merged into the NYPD.
MTA officials last year planned to hire 500 more cops — who would be employed by the state-run agency — for subway patrols, but hired fewer than 200 as the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a financial crisis.
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