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National Guard subway plan ‘working as we expected’

by Staff

Gov. Kathy Hochul defended her controversial initiative to flood the city’s public transit system with National Guardsmen, saying it’s is going as planned even after a man was shot through the eye with his own gun on the subways this week.

“My objective was to make sure [the National Guard is] in our main transit hubs – you see them at Grand Central [Station] and other places, so they can free up [NYPD cops],” Hochul told reporters at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “So the plan is working as we had expected.”

Under Hochul’s order, 750 National Guardsmen and 250 state and MTA cops were sent to patrol the subway stations, a decision she staunchly defended as a crime deterrent that would calm commuters’ “anxiety.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul says her plan to flood NYC’s public transit system with National Guardsmen is working “as we had expected.” Robert Miller
Gov. Hochul deployed 750 National Guardsmen (some pictured) and 250 state and MTA cops earlier this month in NYC’s subway system to help target rising subway crime. REUTERS

After the deployment began earlier this month, straphangers entering the subway were greeted by camouflaged and gun-toting soldiers at bag-search checkpoints in a sight reminiscent of the city after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Following outcry, Hochul revised the tactics days later, leaving some guardsmen still armed with assault weapons at certain postings throughout the subway – but none armed at the actual bag checkpoints.

Her critics include former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who slammed his successor’s decision to deploy the National Guard, arguing instead for more police officers to patrol underground.

Cuomo claimed Gov. Hochul’s directive is useless, saying it cannot serve as a viable long-term solution to combat crime.

Hochul skirted questions about how truly effective the National Guard can be if they’re not armed and patrolling the subways like cops.

Hochul said the National Guard is part of a larger plan to improve subway safety, but critics like ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo say NYC is better off with more cops in the subway. AP

Instead, she said the National Guard is just part of her larger plan to improve subway safety, adding their presence should also “free up” more NYPD cops to patrol the subway system.

She said the plan also includes targeting repeat offenders of subway crime and getting “people with severe mental illness off our subways.”

Earlier Saturday, Mayor Eric Adams also downplayed Thursday’s A-train shooting by declaring the Big Apple is still “the safest big city in America.”

The scene of fearful straphangers riding the A train Thursday while a fight broke out between two men that led to gunshots. @JoyceMeetsWorld/X-ABC

Ranting rider Dajuan Robinson, 36, was shot through the eye with his own gun on Thursday after suddenly going berserk on 32-year-old dad of two Younece Obuad on an evening A train as it pulled into the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street station in Brooklyn, cops and law-enforcement sources said.

He apparently targeted his victim because he wrongly thought the straphanger was a recent migrant.

Robinson remained hospitalized in critical condition Saturday, sources said.

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