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New York to deploy National Guard to subways after string of violence

750 members of the National Guard and 250 state troopers will help the New York Police Department check bags at subway entrances.
National Guard wait in the lobby of the New York City Mass Transit Authority Rail Control Center.
Posted at 12:24 PM, Mar 06, 2024

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced plans Wednesday to deploy the National Guard to the New York City subway system to help police search passengers' bags for weapons, following a series of high-profile crimes on city trains.

Hochul, a Democrat, said she will send 750 members of the National Guard, as well as 250 state troopers, to help the New York Police Department check bags at subway entrances.

The move came as part of a larger plan from the governor's office to address crime in the subway, which included a legislative proposal to ban people from trains if they are convicted of assaulting a subway passenger and the installation of cameras focused on conductor cabins to protect transit workers.

The deployment of the National Guard would bolster an enhanced presence of New York Police Department officers in the subway system, Hochul said. Police in New York have long conducted random bag checks at subway entrances, though passengers are free to refuse and leave the station.

Overall, crime has dropped in New York City since a spike during the COVID-19 pandemic, and killings are down on the subway system, which serves over 3 million riders per day. But rare fatal shootings and shovings on the subway can put residents on edge.

Why is there a police hiring shortage?
An NYPD police car.

Why is there a police hiring shortage?

This has been a particular problem with the New York Police Department, whose officers have been targeted for recruitment from other cities.