NYPD boosts unarmed volunteer forces in subways to help combat crime



The NYPD is deploying more members of its unarmed volunteer auxiliary force into subway stations to help combat crime, officials said Friday.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told Fox’s “Good Day New York” that the department has added to its legion of cops in the subways by putting “auxiliary officers recently into the top 20 stations, just really all to make New Yorker’s feel safe.”

Interim MTA President Sarah Feinberg also announced the deployment of auxiliary officers, who are used for non-enforcement police duties.

“The addition of these officers is a good step forward,” Feinberg said in a press release. “But make no mistake more needs to be done to ensure the system comes back, and in turn the city comes back.

“We know that in order for more and more people to return to mass transit, they need to feel safe. That’s why we continue to call on the city to add additional full-time police officers and mental-health resources to the subway system immediately,” she said.

An MTA police officer steps on a train.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has pointed to a drop in serious crimes on trains, though murders and felony assaults have increased.
AFP via Getty Images

The move came as Shea took on Gov. Andrew Cuomo over subway crime.

Cuomo said earlier this week that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration had turned the subways into a makeshift homeless shelter.

NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg
NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said New Yorkers need to feel safe to return to mass transit.
Dennis A. Clark

Shea fired back on Friday by saying he stopped listening to the governor “a long time ago.”

The city’s top cop touted the overall reduction in serious crime on the rails this year, although murders and felony assaults are up.

Police officers on patrol around Times Square subway station
The “auxiliary officers” will be in the city’s “top 20 stations,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
GC Images

The NYPD’s Auxiliary unit, which was briefly suspended last summer during the pandemic, has been largely tasked, since returning, with handing out face masks around the city and cleaning up graffiti.

Over the past week, the volunteers have been out in various stations, including the Pelham Parkway stop and Atlantic Terminal, handing out theft-prevention flyers and masks, according to the unit’s Twitter feed.

NYPD officers and a sleeping man on train
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the subways have been turned into makeshift homeless shelters.
Getty Images

The NYPD did not say how many auxiliary officers were added to the subway system to inspect stations and trains.

“As part of our comprehensive effort to keep all subway riders safe, Auxiliary Officers from Patrol and Transit will be deployed with a Police Officer across our transit system,” a police spokesman said. “These Auxiliary officers will assist alongside a robust police presence, in the NYPD’s ongoing work to provide a safe commute.”


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