Mayor Adams unveils plan to enhance subway safety, expand mental health program

Following the uptick in violence on the subway, Mayor Eric Adams was joined by Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday to address ways to increase subway safety.

News 12 Staff

Feb 18, 2022, 3:37 PM

Updated 826 days ago

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Following the uptick in violence on the subway, Mayor Eric Adams was joined by Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday to address ways to increase subway safety.
The city reports that crime on the transit system is up 65% since the same time last year.
The first thing riders can expect to notice is an increased police presence at Metropolitan Transportation Authority stations.
Community organizations will be working with the NYPD to create joint response teams aimed at reaching out to the homeless community.
The city will also work to increase supportive housing as well as psychiatric treatment for people who need additional help.
The Coalition for the Homeless is not fully in support, saying the city cannot repeat failed outreach attempts in what they're calling a broken system.
"The mayor's own police department recently noted that those who shelter in the transit system are there because they have no safer alternative," says Shelly Nortz, deputy executive director for the Coalition for the Homeless. "Criminalizing homelessness and mental illness are not the answer."
The mayor's office responded saying that it will not abandon the homeless. Mayor Adams says the city will also be coordinating safer places for the homeless to go rather than the transit system. Those places include drop-in centers, safe havens, stabilization beds and wellness vans.
Adams plans to implement a subway safety plan that goes back to the basics of enforcing subway rules such as no smoking and no drugs on the train.
"No more smoking. No more doing drugs. No more sleeping. No more doing barbecues on the subway system. No more just doing whatever you want," says Adams.
The city will also be looking to strengthen Kendra's Law.
"A comprehensive civic strategy that will do more than deal with a temporary fix. You can't put a Band Aid on a cancerous sore. That is not how you solve the problem," Adams emphasized.
Adams added New Yorkers will see safety in the rail systems improve, but that it will not happen overnight.
In addition to subway safety, the city's mental health program B-HEARD, which answers non-violent mental health calls, wil expand to areas such as the south Bronx. The city also plans to add trained clinicians who can connect people with resources.


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