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NYC’s Subway Police Surge Fails to Dent Transit Crime

Total major felonies are up 44% from last year, although they remain slightly below pre-pandemic levels

A New York Police Department officer patrol inside the Times Square subway station in New York.

A New York Police Department officer patrol inside the Times Square subway station in New York.

Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg

New York City has a new strategy to make riders feel safer on the subway: Alerting people at certain stops that police are stationed there in case they want to get off the train and report a crime.

The move is part of a plan announced by officials in late October to improve safety in a transit system that’s recovered 65% of pre-pandemic ridership, but there’s little evidence to suggest the tactics will work to reduce crime. And so far, the added police presence has only led to more arrests for low-level crimes like fare evasion, particularly among people of color.