NYPD: Transit crime at historic low

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News 12's Asha McKenzie sat down with the NYPD chief of transit for a look at how his team is working to keep crime down.

The '90s were a dark time for the city's subways, with crime at its heights on the rail. Going into 2020 though, NYPD Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre tells News 12 that it's far from what it was 30 years ago.

"We're at historic lows. We have up to 6 million riders a day - we average approximately six crimes a day, that's about one crime a million riders," said Delatorre.

Delatorre says the latest plan for the subway system is helping to keep commuters and MTA workers safe and creating trust with riders and officers.

"Every station, every line now in New York City has a pair of police officers and one transit worker that are completely responsible for everything that goes on at the station and on that line in between those stations where they're responsible," said Delatorre.

The neighborhood coordination officers are coined by the NYPD as "local problem solvers." They deal with incidents like assaults, robbery and sexual predators--which is reportedly one of the biggest issues within the subway system. In 2018, from January to September there were 792 arrests in the transit system. In the same time frame this year, there were 782 arrests.

But still there are calls to make riding the rails feel like less of a risk. Transit union leaders are calling for change, saying there has been an uptick of attacks on them.

"The TA workers and the transit workers, we live in the subways. Crime has not went down," union leaders say. "This cannot go unnoticed anymore."

Heading into 2020, Delatorre's advice for straphangers is to stay alert.

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