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Need to address safety in subways

Workers are steadily returning to their offices in Manhattan and across the five boroughs, but a new poll shows that 60 percent of them still fear for their safety.
But they aren’t worried about contracting COVID-19, they’re worried about their physical safety as they return to the city’s subway system.
Stations across the city were nearly deserted for the first few months of the pandemic last year except for the brave men and women working on the front lines, paving the way for an unsavory element to feel more comfortable taking over the system.
We have all heard the stories of random attacks, including people being assaulted or pushed onto the tracks or both, that have become far too common in the mass transit system. If the city is going to get back to work, people need to feel comfortable using the subways.
Would more cops patrolling the platforms and trains help? Mayor Bill de Blasio recently added 250 more cops to the 3,000 already safeguarding the subways, and it certainly can’t hurt.
But in addition to the criminal element, there is a far bigger problem with the homeless and mentally ill living in the stations. More cops won’t necessarily solve that issue.
Instead, the city and MTA need a social solution. They need people who are trained in dealing with the homeless and mentally ill to join the police in engaging these individuals and try to get them help.
Simply locking them up and then releasing them back on the street won’t accomplish anything.
After a year of us all worrying about our health due to the pandemic, we need to feel safe in the subways as our lives slowly return to normal.

City bracing for a summer of violence

If Memorial Day weekend is any indication, it looks like it’s going to be a bloody summer in the city.
On Monday night alone, a teenager was killed and eight others were injured in incidents across the five boroughs. That’s on top of several other acts of violence over the weekend.
Police sources were quoted in published reports saying crime would have been a lot worse over the weekend if the weather hadn’t been so awful.
In other words, as the calendar turns to summer we can expect the violence to get much worse.
This is on top of the spike in hate crimes, primarily directed at the Asian community. On Monday, another woman was randomly punched in front of a restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
The city is trying to address the growing violence, from flooding troubled neighborhoods with extra police to employing community groups to try to stop the shooting before it starts, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
The de Blasio administration and the NYPD will have to get creative if New Yorkers are going to feel safe walking the streets this summer.
But residents need to do their part, too, when they can. If you see something suspicious or witness an act of violence, make sure you come forward and help our officers get the dangerous elements off our streets.

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