The morning after a New York Metropolis mayoral debate highlighted fissures within the candidates’ response to public security, the MTA’s management let voters know which candidates assist its place that subway crime must be addressed with extra law enforcement officials.
Interim President for New York Metropolis Transit Sarah Feinberg emailed the town’s press corps Friday about what she known as a number of “very critical armed theft and slashing incidents at stations on the identical line.”
She stated the assaults on the Lexington Line won’t have occurred had there been extra law enforcement officials underground.
“The accountability for these vicious assaults doesn’t fall on an already strapped police division,” Feinberg wrote in her assertion. “It falls on Metropolis Corridor and the people who’re benefiting from the mayor’s negligence on the problem. If he wanted a wake-up name, that is it. Sufficient is sufficient. The mayor is risking New York’s restoration each time he lets these incidents go by with out significant motion.”
The MTA’s press workplace ended the message by noting which candidates at Thursday’s evening’s mayoral discussion board supported including extra police: Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire and Andrew Yang. The Democratic main is on June 22, and the winner will presumably have a heavy benefit within the November normal election given the town’s deep blue voting patterns in the newest elections.
Watchdog teams see this unofficial endorsement as overstepping the MTA’s boundaries.
“For a non-elected state public servant to be making an attempt to affect candidates for metropolis workplace is solely inappropriate,” stated Rachael Fauss, with the nice authorities group Reinvent Albany, in an emailed assertion. “Placing a cop on each platform and each practice is unaffordable and has not been completed as a result of it does not make sense. There is not any doubt that there are issues however politicizing the problem and appearing as a cat’s paw for the governor isn’t how the MTA can finest assist the using public.”
MTA spokeswoman Abbie Collins stated the authority wasn’t “politicizing” something, it was merely offering context for the current assaults on subway passengers and employees. And MTA Chairman Pat Foye stated Friday the MTA is making “zero endorsement” within the race for mayor.
However Danny Pearlstein, coverage and communications director with Riders Alliance, disagreed with that characterization. He stated the subway system “is overwhelmingly protected with thousands and thousands of riders taking it daily.”
“The truth is that the governor’s fear-mongering could also be scaring folks away from public transit and making riders who must journey much less protected,” he wrote in an announcement. “In the meantime, hundreds of New Yorkers struggling homelessness and psychological sickness are vilified, exploited, and deserted by this traditional Albany smear marketing campaign.”
Nicole Gelinas, senior coverage senior researcher on the Manhattan Institute, stated it regarded just like the MTA had made its 5 ranked selection votes by singling out particular candidates forward of the first, by which metropolis voters will use a brand new system of ranked selection voting. However not like the Riders Alliance and Reinvent Albany, she famous that public authorities are by no means freed from politics.
“The MTA, for instance, weighed in closely on the bond act of 2005, and it advocated closely for congressional motion final yr,” Gelinas stated.
“One may argue that the crime subject impacts its fiscal pursuits,” she wrote in an announcement. “On this case, they’re utilizing the mayoral race extra as a cudgel of their warfare in opposition to the present mayor for extra police assets.”
Nevertheless, Gelinas stated she doesn’t assume it’s sensible for the MTA to call particular person candidates, as a result of this raises a bunch of points. “Keep in mind, they do not permit political adverts in subway stations,” she stated. “But when they begin weighing candidates themselves, somebody goes to argue that they can’t make such intonations from on excessive however preserve its personal property pristine of politics.”
The MTA insists it’s sticking to points, not politics. At a press convention exterior the Union Sq. subway station Friday afternoon, Foye continued to name for the town so as to add 600-800 armed law enforcement officials to the subway.
“Metropolis Corridor can’t proceed to bury its head within the sand any longer,” Foye stated.
The town agreed final week so as to add extra volunteer auxiliary law enforcement officials to patrol the subways, along with the five hundred armed law enforcement officials added in February.
Foye was flanked by the pinnacle of the Transport Staff Union Native 100 Tony Utano, who went additional in blaming the town for current assaults on the subway.
“That is all about de Blasio doesn’t need to step up and do the best factor,” Utano stated. “He’s received blood on his palms.”
Utano known as for de Blasio to resign.
“New York Metropolis is surging over 500 officers on high of a 2,500-strong transit drive to battle subway crime,” de Blasio spokesperson Invoice Neidhardt wrote in an announcement. “The Metropolis has pulled cops off desk responsibility and put them on platforms and trains. We’re going to maintain placing huge assets into this battle to maintain our subways protected. In the meantime the MTA sends out statements that time fingers and discuss mayoral politics. Get with this system, assist us battle again this crime.”
No transit employees have been killed by assaults on the subway since final yr, when a person lit a practice automobile on hearth. The union notes there have been 15 assaults on subway riders and employees since final Sunday.
The town maintains the subways are overwhelmingly protected, and that main subway crimes are practically half of what they had been in 2020.