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MTA leaders are calling into question Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to put more cops on the subway — accusing Hizzoner of misleading them and the public about the NYPD’s underground deployment numbers.
Agency rep Abbey Collins said late Monday that the deployments announced in February and on Monday were both overstated.
Twenty percent of the 644 officers deployed in February had been reassigned, Collins said in a statement, while the 250 extra “patrols” announced on Monday would simply be existing cops working partial overtime shifts.
“The 250 announced today aren’t new officers at all, but just extra shifts and will not even be full time. This is irresponsible,” Collins said.
“The Mayor should immediately clarify for the public and our employees once and for all the real number of officers being dedicated to the safety of the subway system.”
Collins’ comments came hours after de Blasio announced the newest influx of officers.
The mayor framed the news as “250 new police officers” — but the NYPD later clarified that the new deployment would actually consist of 125 cops working short OT shifts during the morning and evening rush.
De Blasio batted away the criticisms on Tuesday, calling out the MTA for “vacancies in their police force they still haven’t filled,” in reference to the MTA’s pandemic-stalled effort to hire 500 new cops of its own.
“It’s the largest police force in the subways in over 25 years,” he said. “Why don’t they take care of their own house? Why don’t they fill those vacancies?”
“How about the MTA pull its own weight and join us and help us rather than just criticizing,” the mayor added.
The subways saw 2.32 felony crimes per million riders in March 2021, the most recent data available — versus just 1.47 per million riders across 2019.
On Tuesday, the mayor — who last month accused the MTA of “discouraging” ridership by publicizing concerns about transit crime — was asked whether the move to bolster police presence underground marked a shift from his previous criticisms.
But de Blasio doubled down.
“They’ve been fearmongering, and they continue to fearmonger — very evidently to try and distract from the governor’s problems. It’s not rocket science,” he said, in an apparent reference to Gov. Cuomo’s ongoing scandals.
“People are coming back all the time to the subways — and the more people that come back, the safer they’ll be.”
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