NYC mayor plans to return to single officer transit patrols, angering PBA

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD will effectively double the patrol area of police in the subway by no longer requiring two officers to patrol together, Mayor Eric Adams has revealed to Bill Ritter on the Eyewitness News program "Up Close."

The new strategy, to be formally announced in the coming days, will return to single officers patrolling the trains and platforms, allowing the department to "maximize the deployment on our subways and on our platforms."

"That's what I did as a transit police officer during the '80s," Adams said. "We are going back to that because that was one of the ways we were able to bring down crime."

Adams said the shift is meant to help riders feel safer with the increased police presence.

"That is playing a major role in people feeling comfortable about riding the subway system," he said. "We are getting ready to announce the next layer of our subway safety plan, moving away from the double patrols that cut our police force in half and going back to single patrol to have the omnipresence that is needed in our trains and stations. We want to continue to modify until we bring back that level of confidence that New Yorkers need."

Adams insisted it was not a budget decision.

"That did not come at all up at all in the budget discussion," he said. "Based on my observations of moving throughout the city, I have come to a clear conclusion we are not deploying police correctly, and one of the areas of focus is in the transit police patrol.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association blasted the policy, saying it will force police officers to retire.

"We can't fix the NYPD staffing crisis by spreading our overstretched resources even thinner," PBA President Patrick Lynch said. "Solo transit patrols were abandoned because they make it harder for cops to protect straphangers and ourselves. They're even less effective now that criminals know there are no consequences for fighting cops and resisting arrest. New York City police officers are overburdened, underpaid and leaving in droves. This proposal will only accelerate the exodus."

A video of the interview with the mayor can be viewed above, and watch the full episode of "Up Close" Sunday at 11 a.m. on Channel 7.

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