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NYC: Gov. Hochul Deploys 1,000 National Guardsmen to City’s Subways to Combat Crime

Published: March 6, 2024
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (L), holds a press conference onMarch 6, 2024, at the New York City Mass Transit Authority Rail Control Center to announce the deployment of National Guard soldiers and State Police officers to the subway system to combat subway crime.(Image: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

On Mar. 6, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, announced that 1,000 New York National Guardsmen, state police and MTA officers are being deployed to the city’s crime plagued subways to assist in carrying out bag checks.

The additional security — consisting of 250 law enforcement officers and 750 guardsmen — will be working in conjunction with the New York Police Department (NYPD) to patrol the city’s busiest transit stations amid a surge in violence in the city’s subway system, Hochul said. 

“No one heading to their job or to visit family or go to a doctor appointment should worry that the person sitting next to them possesses a deadly weapon,” Hochul said. 

In addition to the increased manpower, Hochul says that a new law will be introduced that will allow judges to ban anyone convicted of a violent transit assault from riding the city’s subway or bus system.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams was noticeably absent from Hochul’s announcement concerning the crackdown, after he said a day earlier that the NYPD would increase its presence underground and enhance bag checks following a spike in crime.

So far in 2024, subway crime rates have surged, spiking nearly 20 percent compared to the same time last year, according to NYPD statistics. 


The return of bag checks

New Yorkers can expect to be more scrutinized as they ride the subway going forward after Hizzoner announced on March 5 that the city would be reinstituting bag checks in the fight against subway crime. 

At a regular press briefing on Tuesday, Adams said that “[W]e are reinstituting bag checks,” and that they would resume in “a week or so.”

The announcement follows a shooting at a subway station last month, when a person was killed and five others were wounded.

The shooting was reportedly between two groups of teenagers., the Associated Press (AP) reported.

According to the AP, Michael Kemper, the NYPD’s chief of transit said, “We don’t believe this was a random shooting. We do not believe that this was an individual indiscriminately firing into a train or a train station.”

Also, last week, an MTA conductor was slashed in the neck after he stuck his head out of the cabin window on a Brooklyn subway train, the NYPD said.

The incident occurred at the Rockaway Avenue Station in Brownsville. 

The 59-year-old conductor, Alton Scott, was taken to hospital where he received 34 stitches.

The suspect, an adult man wearing a blue vest, fled the station and so far no arrests have been made. 

“Let me be very, very clear. These brazen, heinous attacks on our subway system will not be tolerated,” Hochul said at the press conference. “This will not stand — not on my watch.”

An increase in bag checks will start this week, with full deployment expected to be completed by week’s end, officials said.