Feb. 15, 2021 By Allie Griffin
MTA officials are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to deploy 1,000 additional police officers to keep watch over the subway system following a string of stabbings over the weekend.
MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye and NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg penned a letter to de Blasio on Sunday requesting that he add 1,000 officers on top of the 500 the NYPD announced Saturday that it was adding.
The pair complimented NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and De Blasio for adding the 500 cops but said it was not enough.
“We believe the additional 500 officers you agreed to dedicate to the subway system is an important first step,” they wrote in the letter. “We believe more is needed, however, and so we are writing today to request an additional 1,000 NYPD officers be assigned to the Transit Bureau to patrol subways and buses immediately.”
The letter comes just one day after a mentally ill, homeless man randomly stabbed four people — two fatally — along the A line during a bloody 15-hour spree between Friday and early Saturday.
One of the victims, a 57-year-old homeless man, was found stabbed to death onboard an A train at the Mott Avenue station in Far Rockaway. All of the victims are believed to be homeless.
A 21-year-old man, Rigoberto Lopez, was arrested Saturday for the crimes.
Foye and Feinberg praised the NYPD for quickly apprehending Lopez, but asked for more officers to patrol the subway system.
“We request teams of uniformed officers be assigned to every station and that officers ride the system throughout the day and during the overnight to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues,” they wrote.
They also pointed to a rise in certain crimes, like felony assaults, rape and murder, onboard subway trains and at stations despite a drastic dip in ridership.
“The fact is that we all see a disturbing trend above ground and below ground, which as you know began prior to the pandemic, and now has been exacerbated by the acute mental health crisis we are facing.”