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When the subways were back in operation 24/7 this week for the first time in a year, lawyer Jumaane D. Williams called for a series of measures to promote real public safety in public transport, the solutions of which tended to focus on public health than based on overpolice.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that in addition to the recent expansion of the police presence on trains, an additional 250 New York Police Department (NYPD) officers would patrol the subways.
“Time and again, we see leaders equating public safety with policing far too easily and sending more officers to solve problems they are not equipped to deal with rather than investing in the solutions we know can work “said Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants. “Everyone has a role to play in public safety, but not all of those roles are in law enforcement.
“Expanding the homeless service rather than trying to ban the unhodged, increasing the mental health outreach rather than the NYPD’s response, and increasing uniformed MTA personnel instead of armed police are all critical tools to building confidence.” in maintaining the system that some leaders have tried to undermine, “he added.
During a press conference Monday morning with elected officials, lawyers and transit workers, the prosecutor declined what he called “both Governor Cuomo and others’ scare tactics over the state of the subway and the idea that additional police are the only solution” for public safety within the transport system. “
In particular, the coalition highlighted: calling for 3,100 new MTA workers laid off at the start of the pandemic and the addition of uniformed uniformed MTA workers to promote public safety; and opposition to the intrusion of additional NYPD or state police officers into the transit system and a call to shift the focus of officers currently patrolling the subways from minor violations such as fare evasion as well as tasks that should not be left to the police such as Homeless services or mental health intervention.
The coalition also underscored calls for an end to efforts against the homeless, which were included in the MTA’s Code of Conduct during the COVID-19 shutdown. These included prohibiting people from driving wheelbarrows greater than 30 inches in length or width into the subway system from staying in a subway station for more than an hour and prohibiting people from inside a subway Remaining rail terminal after a train has been taken out of service.
Williams also stressed the importance of “realizing both the realities of public safety on the subway and the perceptions of New Yorkers,” recognizing that both are important but stressed that “taking action on misconceptions based on public safety – namely the standard position Continuously increasing the presence of law enforcement agencies has a detrimental effect on changing these misconceptions and promoting holistic public safety. “
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