Officials hope that seeing the same officers on their daily commute will give subway riders a person to reach out to when they have a problem on the trains.
In an effort to drive down crime on NYC’s public transportation system, the city will expand its Neighborhood Coordination Officers program (NCO) to subway lines in Brooklyn and the Bronx, announced Mayor de Blasio yesterday in the Barclays Center station. The program, which launched in 2015, encourages officers to meet with residents face-to-face to help improve relations between them and the community, reports Patch.
“If you ride the subway you know you get to know a lot of your fellow riders, a lot of friendly faces,” said de Blasio. “It is so important that those friendly faces now include our officers, guaranteeing you that as that as that develops, there’s going to be a flow of information that’s going to make a huge difference.”
Officers will be assigned to the same lines every day, riding the subways and patrolling stations. The city will also install posters on platforms with photos of the cops and station agents along with their email addresses. Officials hope that seeing the same officers on their daily commute will encourage subway riders to reach out to them when they have a problem on the trains.
“You see something, you now have an email to reach out to that cop, who you see as you come on,” said Chief of Department Terrance Monahan. “It just gets you that familiarity with that cop.”
The officers will also be trained by the city’s homeless outreach experts.
“The fact that there’s going to be the same officers seeing the situation day in and day out … they’re also going to be able to help those outreach workers to know how to approach someone,” de Blasio said. “Remember, the goal is to win the trust, get the person in off the street, keep them off the street.”
The initiative will kick off in Transit District 30 – Downtown Brooklyn — which covers stations along the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, B, D, Q, F, G and R lines. Citywide, there are currently 63 precincts and nine housing districts participating in the NCO program. The city plans to expand the model to all 12 transit districts by the beginning of next year.