Transit Bureau Beefs up Patrols

Responding to an increase in subway crimes, specifically robbery, the NYPD Transit Bureau is stepping up enforcement by placing uniformed officers on board trains during overnight hours.

Photo of NYPD Transit Roll Call
Photo Courtesy/NYPD

According to Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox, the rise in subway robberies is being driven by the theft of hand-held electronics -; smartphones, tablets and other devices that are increasingly popular. The Transit Bureau is combating this trend by continuing to step up uniform presence inside the subway system.

Since January, uniformed Police Officers have been deployed on every train in the Bronx, from midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The high-visibility weekend Train Patrol initiative begins as soon as the officer boards the train, and asks the train's Conductor to announce his or her presence to alert all passengers -; including the bad guys - that police are on board. During the course of the ride, the officer moves from car to car as the train travels through the borough. Chief Fox briefed members of the Transit Committee of the MTA Board on the program Monday.

“In the Bronx, there have been only six major felonies on the 2, 4 and 6 lines and no crimes on the D and 5 lines during the early weekend hours," said Chief Fox. Based on the success of the program in the Bronx, it was expanded to the 7 and A line in Queens, where Chief Fox says it's already paying dividends.

“Since the inception of the program in Queens, there have been no major felonies on the “7" or “A" lines during the covered time frame," said Fox. “This strategy has proven to be effective and will be continued," he added.

But anti-crime efforts aren't stopping with the Train Patrol initiative. Each day a team of Transit Crime Prevention Officers and Crime Prevention Officers from outside Transit pick one borough and spend an entire shift inside various subway stations. These officers hand out crime prevention materials to passengers. On Friday evenings, Transit Auxiliary Police officers are joined by street patrol Auxiliary officers in patrolling various subway stations throughout the city, distributing crime prevention materials. Chief Fox feels it is essential to inform riders that thefts of electronics are often preventable.

A third prong of the NYPD's efforts is the "Operation Impact" program. During Operation Impact, Officers throughout the city consistently conduct regular transit visits, increasing uniformed police presence in our subways. Said Fox “These programs are yielding results, as we have recently seen a drop in major felonies. In the 28 day period from June 18 through July 15, major felony crime dropped 4.9%."

Safeguard Your Stuff Subway Poster

Fueling part of this decline is an increase in uniformed officers assigned to the Transit Bureau. Just this past month, more than 100 new officers were assigned to the Bureau from the Police Academy, and those additional boots on the ground are having an impact. According to Chief Fox says 91% of the new officers have made at least one arrest, including every new officer assigned to the Bronx and Queens. Collectively, these 108 new Transit Bureau officers have already made 170 arrests. Fox says the Transit Bureau will continue these and other anti-crime efforts as they look to drive down crime in the subway.