More police officers have been sent into the New York City subway to address the large number of homeless people sleeping on trains during cold winter nights, according to the New York Police Department.
The officers' objective is to offer services to the homeless people, from shelter to hospitalization, but their task is a daunting one. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, officers entered an E train while it was held at the last stop, World Trade Center. There were 70 homeless people aboard, reports the New York Times.
The increase in police officers followed a report last week in the New York Times that found dozens of homeless people taking refuge on trains, particularly the E, which for decades has been the line most-used by the homeless because it is subterranean for its entire ride, keeping it warm at night.
"There have been dozens and dozens of additional officers added to the subway to ensure the safety of our transit system as well as to help with outreach to the homeless — particularly in the overnight hours," said J. Peter Donald, the assistant commissioner in the Police Department's public relations office. He said the officers were there to offer help to the homeless, not to remove them.