Gov Orders National Guard to NYC Subways Due to Overwhelming Crime

( – New York City’s subway system is in the grip of a crime epidemic, with violence surging and three people already dead this year. Mayor Eric Adams (D) has brought in more police and reinstated bag checks to keep weapons out of the system. Now New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) has gone one step further and deployed National Guard troops to back up the police.

Subway Faces Crime Crisis

So far this year, the New York subway system has seen one man slashed with a box cutter, a man kicked onto the tracks at Penn Station, and a teenage girl beaten. On February 29, a conductor needed 30 stitches after being slashed across the face in a random attack. Two died in subway attacks in February and one in January. New York Police Department data shows a 13.1% increase in violence so far this year compared to the same period in 2023. Although some insist the system is still safe, an endless stream of violent crimes has left passengers worried.

Mayor Adams has responded to the rising crime rate by adding more security cameras, sending more police into the system, removing mentally ill homeless people whose erratic behavior is scaring off passengers, and bringing back random bag searches.

The subway first started searching bags after the July 7, 2005 bomb attacks in London, where three bombs went off on the London Underground, but they were eventually dropped. Now they’re back. Searches aren’t mandatory and passengers can refuse to let cops check their bags — but, if they do, officers can refuse them entry to the system.

Hochul Sends Troops

With subway crime hitting the headlines, Governor Hochul has stepped in with extra support. That includes 250 New York State Police troopers, but the main element is 750 troops from the New York Army National Guard. These extra personnel are backing up the NYPD’s own officers, helping with bag searches and deterring criminals by providing more visible patrols. The Guardsmen won’t have arrest powers, but they’ll be working alongside police.

So far the extra security is being welcomed by passengers. Not everyone is happy about the bag searches, but some passengers have been thanking troops for being there. One Italian visitor told the New York Times “It feels like more safety to me” — but added that he still feels safer on the subway than on the streets of NYC. Adams and Hochul are trying to make the trains safer, but the city’s problems go far beyond the subway.

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