The NYPD deployed 644 new officers into the city’s subway system Tuesday — up 144 from the 500 initially announced — amid an outcry about recent violent crime on the rails, officials announced.
That number includes 331 Transit Bureau officers, and 313 patrol bureau cops, NYPD Transit Chief Kathleen O’Reilly said at a morning press conference. The officers coming over from patrol will be dedicated to 68 stations, she said.
“We are able to achieve this through overtime, deployment of officers normally assigned to administrative duties and re-assignment of other non-transit officers,” O’Reilly said.
The officers will be spread throughout the system, with a focus on the morning and evening rushes, she said.
“The public can expect to see the surge in uniformed presence in the system for the foreseeable future, patrolling platforms, securing entryways and riding the trains,” O’Reilly said. “I’m here to ensure all New Yorkers … that we are invested in keeping everyone safe.”
“While we cannot prevent every crime in the system, [it] remains one of the safest large transit systems in the world,” she added. “When a crime does occur, our officers move swiftly to make immediate arrests.”
Police brass vowed Saturday to put at least 500 more cops in the system after a homeless man launched a random weekend slashing rampage that left two people dead and two men wounded.
But MTA Chairman Pat Foye and Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg said that number is not enough and called for an additional 1,000.
When asked about the MTA’s request Tuesday, O’Reilly said, “We constantly analyze our deployment. It’s very fluid.”
Earlier Tuesday, before the press conference, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea stood by the 500 number.
“What we committed to — and thought it was important to put the public at ease — we announced the 500 officers on Saturday,” the top cop said in a PIX 11 interview. “We think that’s the appropriate number right now. Of course we’ll continue to evaluate as we move forward. It’s that balance….The city is not the subway system. It’s the entire city and the resources and the crime picture.”
He called it “unrealistic” to place at least one cop in every platform across the city.
The NYPD also needs assistance handling the city’s homelessness and mental health crises, he said.
“We could throw resources at a problem and put whatever the number of officers into the system is,” the commissioner said. “There are other issues at play that need to be fixed. We can’t arrest someone over and over and over again. It doesn’t make sense. That’s where we need the help.”
Rigoberto Lopez, 21, busted in connection to the weekend rampage, had been arrested at least four previous times, including for whacking his dad in the left knee with a stick in September 2019, according to authorities and his family.
“We’ve encountered this individual multiple times, multiple,” Shea said