STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban visited New York City's subways Thursday to announce steps being taken to address safety concerns on the subways.

Investing in new technology to detect firearms and hiring additional clinicians to assist people suffering from severe mental illness within the MTA subway system aims to address safety concerns. These are two major initiatives launched by the Adams administration and the NYPD.

weapon detection technology

The city is close to piloting technology designed to detect weapons carried on straphangers. In accordance with the Surveillance Technology Public Surveillance Act, the NYPD also announced an Impact and Use Policy for Electromagnetic Weapons Detection Systems, a process that requires newly developed technology to be tested and used in New York City for 90 days. A waiting period was made mandatory. , according to

“Passengers need to feel safe when they ride the subway, and that requires innovation, not just new weapons detection technology, but also increased police presence, tougher responses to repeat offenders by the criminal justice system, and mental health We also need to expand resources for this purpose,” the MTA Chair and MTA said. CEO Jano Lieber.

During the waiting period, the NYPD will seek a company with proven expertise in weapons detection technology. Once that period ends, the NYPD plans to conduct a pilot program at select subway stations to further monitor the scanner's effectiveness.

Expansion of scout program

In addition to introducing scanners into the transit system, Adams said the city is also working to expand the Subway Cooperative Response Outreach Team (SCOUT), a pilot program aimed at connecting people within the subway. They announced that they are moving to hire more clinicians. Mental health treatment for severe mental illness.

“Keeping New Yorkers safe on our subways and maintaining trust in our subway system is key to ensuring New York remains the safest metropolis in America,” Mayor Adams said. “Today's announcement is the next step in our continued efforts to remove dangerous weapons from our transportation systems and provide enhanced mental health services to New Yorkers in crisis. By initiating a 90-day waiting period to test weapons detection systems and hiring more clinicians for the Scouts, we are demonstrating our administration's dedication to keeping all New Yorkers safe.”

The SCOUT pilot program dates back to October 2023 and has been operated by two teams within the transit system. The SCOUT team consists of a clinician and his two MTA police officers. During the 90-day trial, the teams were able to remove 90 people from the subway system and place them in shelters. Recently, Governor Hochul announced a $20 million investment in hopes of increasing the number of scout teams to 10 by the end of 2025.

“Since the beginning of my administration, Mayor Adams and I have worked closely to keep our subways safe for all New Yorkers,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “This month, I announced a five-point plan to improve subway safety, including $20 million to expand the SCOUT program to help more New Yorkers get the care they need. The new technology announced today builds on our previous efforts to install cameras throughout the system, helping law enforcement keep dangerous weapons away from their systems.”

City initiatives

As of March 24 of this year, 450 weapons, including 19 illegal firearms, had been seized by the NYPD on the New York City transit system. During the same period last year, 261 weapons were recovered, including nine firearms. In 2023, the NYPD seized 1,515 weapons on the subway. This is an increase from 2022, when a total of 947 weapons were acquired by NYPD officers.

These efforts come on the heels of the NYPD's announcement of Operation Fare Play, an initiative aimed at ensuring that riders pay their fares when using the subway system. The New York City Police Department is deploying 800 additional officers to subways to crack down on fare evaders.

Since the beginning of 2024, the number of arrests across the metro system has increased by approximately 56% compared to 2023. This was due to a 78% increase in fare evasion arrests and a 111% increase in gun arrests.

Related coverage: NYPD News

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