Livery cabs to allow random PD checks

August 31, 2009 3:46:32 PM PDT
New York City livery cab drivers can volunteer to allow police to randomly stop their cars to determine whether they or their passengers are safe. Operation Safe Cab is the latest safety initiative designed to protect livery cab drivers.

Police say drivers can voluntarily put a decal on the back windshield of their cab, allowing officers to stop the car at any time to do a safety check.

"I think it's good because probably they'll be aware of those stickers and what is going on," driver Wellington Gomez said.

More than 600 livery cab drivers filled a residential street in Mott Haven, where an assembly-line of police officers registered each vehicle with a special NYPD decal. The sticker means the driver has pre-authorized police to visually inspect the cab at anytime.

"We believe the drivers will feel, the NYPD is out there. They're going to make random stops and people don't know when that is going to happen," Fernando Mateo of the NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers.

"Maybe the people will come to my car and get scared. Maybe they won't come," driver Cheik Thiam said.

The safety program comes in the wake of three livery cab murders in the last two weeks.

Sunday in Yonkers, a gunman shot 32-year-old Pericles Salas once in the head.

One week earlier, a father of four, 42-year-old Jose Pena Seguira, was killed in his car in Mott Haven. Police made an arrest in that case.

Another driver, Amadou Ndiaye, was murdered on August 17th. On Monday, police arrested a suspect.

"He was arrested early this morning. He tried to commit a robbery. In his possession was a 25-calibre firearm," Insp. David Colom said.

Investigators say ballistic tests of that gun implicated 22-year-old Charles McDowell in the murder of Amadou Ndiaye, a livery cab driver shot once in the heart at Boston Road and Wilson Avenue in the Bronx two weeks ago.

"Every place in the Bronx you think it's a good place, but maybe its a bad place. You can't believe it. Because the bad people go down everywhere," Chiekhou Diop said.


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