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Mayor Adams Says More Officers Are Needed on Subways

Adams defended his handling of the migrant crisis and other business at his regular Tuesday press conference with the media.
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New York City Mayor Eric Adams

Coming off the heels of a long weekend, Mayor Eric Adams held a bright outlook for New York City, despite acknowledging the need for more officers to tackle an uptick in subway crime and issues with the influx of migrants. 

He said he felt the city was on winning streak in Albany, referring to his trip to the state capital over the weekend and also two weeks ago, where he made demands for the city’s budgetary needs.

“Our goal is to look towards fortifying a real housing agenda and mayoral accountability, as we deal with cannabis reform and some of the other items that are important," Adams said during his weekly media press conference Tuesday. 

Regarding migrants and crime, Adams said he had not seen the full video of the police body-cam footage that appears to show an NYPD officer manhandling a migrant in Times Square last month. Despite this, he defended the officer involved involved in the incident. 

“If the officer touched someone, no one gives the authorization to kick, punch, try to grab the gun of the officer–  that's not acceptable,” said Adams.  “We have a sense of law in this city, and that is going to be carried out.

Adams’ handling of the migrant crisis also includes the issuance of prepaid debit cards for 500 migrant families to buy food and baby supplies. It’s a pilot program that is well-intentioned, but mired in controversy as the city issued a $50 million contract for the program with no other bids for alternative deals. 

“People want to give the impression that we did this in a cloak of secrecy, that we're not saving money,” said Adams. “That's just inaccurate.” 

According to New York Police Department statistics, subway crimes rose 20% from last year. Adams said he plans to talk to Governor Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on methods to reduce crime through the transit system, seeking more overtime hours for officers patrolling the subway. 

“We get a greater level of visibility and we're finding that the officers rather have more days off where they're able to do a longer tour while they are in,” said Adams. “So it's good for morale, good for action, good for the movement of the officers.”

When asked about plans for the now decommissioned K5 police robot that patrolled the Times Square station, Adams remained tight-lipped. 

“I don't want to roll it out yet,” said the mayor. “It is idealism when you talk about you don't want police, realism is when you need the police. And so we're going to find another use for the robot.” 

Asar John

About the Author: Asar John

Asar John is a freelance writer and graduate student based in Brooklyn, NY.
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