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New York City reinstituting bag checks to combat rising subway crime

by Staff

NEW YORK — A series of violent incidents on the subways has prompted Mayor Eric Adams to order a new series of security protocols to keep knives, box cutters, clubs and guns off of trains and platforms.

That’s in addition to a more robust police presence.

When Adams walked into the Blue Room at City Hall on Tuesday, the first thing he did was put up a picture to show that subway violence was on his mind. Then came a frank admission.

“We know people feel unsafe,” he said.

And he didn’t need to hear the complaints of Passengers United standing outside Gov. Kathy Hochul‘s office to know it was time to act. And so, he did.

“We have crisis in our subway system right now. So far this year, three people have been killed in the subway. Three people have been killed. So our subway system right now is in a state of emergency,” said Charlton D’Souza of Passengers United.

“We are reinstituting bag checks. There are several things we are reinstituting in the system,” Adams said.

Bag checks, checking backpacks and other carry-ons, were first instituted in the subways almost 20 years ago after a series of coordinated bomb attacks on the London subways in 2005. This time, cops are reportedly going to be looking for weapons.

But that’s not all the mayor is doing. He’s also still on the hunt for a weapons-detection system, like what is used at airports, to install in the transit system.

“We’re definitely on the pathway of coming up with some new technology that’s going to help us identify weapons, as well as guns. My big thing is guns,” Adams said.

The city is also surging 1,000 more cops into the subways on 12-hour shifts in response to crime on the transit system going up 13% since last year.

“Taking that trains right now is the worst thing that someone can go through,” said a 17-year-old girl who was attacked over the weekend.

There have been numerous incidents of late. A young pregnant woman was attacked Sunday night at the 168th Street station in Washington Heights, and a 64-year-old man said he was kicked onto the tracks at Penn Station that same day. Police later released an image of the suspect they are looking for.

“He kicked me in my back and I go out and fall on the track,” Abu Khan said.

The governor is expected to unveil her plan for subway safety on Wednesday. Sources say it’s expected to include more money for police overtime and outreach to get the mentally ill off the subways and off the platforms.

Late Tuesday, a spokesman for the governor said she will also unveil new legislation to protect subway riders and provide state personnel to help the NYPD with the bag checks.

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