BC Reacts: Bag Checks in the Subway

Graphic by Kate Dempsey

By Kiara Jones-Ford

 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has turned her attention towards the safety of the New York City transit system, and in collaboration with Mayor Eric Adams, has proposed and implemented several new measures in order to ensure the safety of riders.

According to NBC News, Governor Hochul ordered a force of National Guard members, state police, and transit police into the subway system on Wednesday, March 6, in order to perform bag checks at stations in the city. It was also reported by NBC News that Hochul aims to increase the amount of surveillance cameras, and has proposed legislation that gives judges the power to ban a felon from using the public transit system. 

This is being done in response to an observed rise in crime on the subway. The NYPD reported on Feb. 19 that there was a “22.6% increase in subway crime” compared to the same time last year. Additionally, according to an analysis by CBS New York Investigates, there were three times as many felony assaults in the subway as compared to 2022, and 46% more assaults compared to 2019.

Governor Hochul announced this amidst a string of violent acts reported on since the beginning of the year. Before the announcement, there was already an increase in police presence in the subway proposed by Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul, according to The Gothamist. The Gothamist additionally reported that this is a part of Hochul’s larger plan that began in 2022 to “beef up” the presence of police, which they call “the three Cs”: “cops, cameras, care.” Train conductors have now also been instructed to announce when they are in a station that has a transit precinct attached to it.

To get a sense of how Brooklyn College students feel about the bag checks, The Vanguard hosted a poll on its Instagram account story to gather a consensus about its approval. Of the 95 respondents, 81% do not support the bag checks taking place while the remaining 19% agree with the increased checks.

 

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