Mayor Eric Adams is tired of seeing NYPD officers on their phones at subway stations — and is asking New Yorkers to snap a picture when they see it happening.
“You walk downstairs, you see five transit officers standing at the booth looking at their phones,” New York City’s mayor griped during a budget briefing at City Hall on Tuesday.
“If you see it, send me a picture. Let me know,” he said, “because I’ll go to that district the next day and see exactly what’s happening.”
“Send me a shot. New Yorkers, you see that, send me a photo and I will be at that station.”
Adams told reporters he was “disappointed” in how NYPD’s Transit Bureau has deployed officers in response to rising crime and high-profile incidents like the April 12 mass shooting that left 10 people with bullet wounds and another 19 injured in the mayhem.
The rate of underground crimes per rider also remains stubbornly above pre-COVID levels, despite being down overall because of lower ridership. NYPD increased subway patrols to combat the violence, but felony assault rates have continued to climb.
“I have been meeting with the chief of the Transit [Bureau] and the police commissioner to talk about better deployment. I want police officers on the train,” said the mayor, a former transit cop himself.
Adams also expressed support for the MTA’s new “blue ribbon” panel on fare evasion, which MTA CEO Janno Lieber announced Tuesday morning. He reiterated his call to city district attorneys to criminally prosecute fare evasion cases, but said cops should be issuing more civil fines as well.
NYPD will conduct fare evasion enforcement stings at stations where farebeating is “rampant,” the mayor said.
“Fare evasion is a problem,” he said. “We don’t want to be heavy-handed — but we do want to return the message that any and everything can’t go on our subway system.”