MTA Study Finds Limited Police Presence At Subway Stations

As crime continues to spike underground, an internal Metropolitan Transportation Authority study reveals there is very little police presence at most subway stations. CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reports.

Video Transcript

- New information about subway safety as crime spikes on the ground. The NYPD insists it's added hundreds of officers.

- But an internal MTA study claims that there is very little police presence at most subway stations. CBS 2's Natalie Duddridge reports from Union Square, where writers disagree.

CHARLTON D'SOUZA: There just isn't enough cops to patrol the subway system, so we need security under ground.

SIXCO CARTAGENA: More people are there doing outrageous crime and stuff like that. But now, it's out-of-control.

- Transit advocates and subway riders who have been worried about what's going on with security in the subway, finally, got some answers from the NYPD's transit chief today.

KATHLEEN O'RIELLY: We have [? charged ?] over 1,100 officers. That's above and beyond what our daily number is in transit.

- That average number of NYPD cops is normally 1,450 officers daily. Added together, right now, there are 2,600 on patrol.

SARAH FEINBERG: It helps us to just understand, you know, where the police are, and how often they're being seen.

- For weeks, the MTA and city had been debating the police presence on trains and platforms. So the MTA launched its own survey, visiting 2,900 stations from May 15 to 24th. The data shows police were visible on average at only 14% of stations. This as attacks on transit workers and riders surge.

PAT FOYE: And there have been too many disturbing incidents recently, including several disgusting attacks on employees that we simply cannot tolerate.

- NYPD stats show there have been 210 felony assaults on subways so far this year. That's up 38% from two years ago and 61.5% from three years ago when the pandemic wasn't a factor. But some riders still don't think more cops are the answer.

- Police presence doesn't necessarily make me feel safer, so I'm good the way it is.

- I think we need more services for the mentally ill. That's the answer.

- Last year, the MTA hired 100 private security guards. This week, it confirmed it would spend an additional $2 million a month to double the number of guards to 200 to help control crime. At Union Square Station, Natalie Duddridge, CBS 2 News.