NYPD to deploy drones to prevent teens from subway surfing

Kemberly Richardson Image
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Exclusive: NYPD previews drones engineered to spot subway surfers
Kemberly Richardson has more on the new campaign to stop subway surfing.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD is deploying drones to known subway surfing locations in an effort to prevent teenagers from riding on top of trains.

Officials say the drones have already aided in arrests, but will mainly be used to deter young people from subway surfing.

Eyewitness News got an exclusive look as an NYPD team on a rooftop launched the device, which sends video back to the NYPD headquarters and the Transit Rail Control Center.

If they spot activity, these devices typically get busy after dismissal and officers on the ground will pick up the teens.

Police will write up a report but won't put the offenders in the system. Instead, they'll do something they think is much more effective - show the video the teens' parents or guardians.

"How many times have you interviewed moms and dads who say, my kid would never do something like that," said NYPD Assistant Commissioner Kaz Daughtry. "Guess what? The video doesn't lie."

Officers will also notify the teen's school.

The drone deployment comes after the city rolled out a campaign to discourage teens from subway surfing last September.

At least five people have died while subway surfing this year, which is the same number of total deaths from 2018 to 2022.

"When they are trying to get down from subway surfing, the train conductor may step on the brakes a little too hard and that's when they lose their balance and can slip and get crushed by the train," Daughtry added.

The MTA also reports over 450 instances of people riding outside the subway cars between January and June of this year alone.


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