The NYPD has ordered more transit officers to go solo when patrolling the subways — a move transit workers and police union bosses slammed over safety concerns.
Chief Joseph Fox, head of the Transit Division, told commanders of the 12 districts across the city to station more solo posts to increase coverage, sources told The New York Daily News. The directive took effect Tuesday at midnight and affects day and evening tours. Transit officers on the midnight tour will continue to patrol in pairs.
Following the murders of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in 2014, and after the July killing of Officer Miosotis Familia, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and his successor, James O’Neill, ordered officers to patrol in pairs for safety. The directive, apparently a departure from that approach, applies to uniformed transit police.
“There has never been a time when it was more urgent for police officers to patrol in pairs — particularly in the subway, where it is frequently impossible to do a warrant check because of lack of cell service underground,” said Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Subway crime statistics may be driving the change. While major crime in the city is down 5.5% overall through Sunday, it is down just 0.6% on subways and buses.