NYC To Send 800 Police Officers To Deter Subway Fare Evaders

New York City announced on Monday that it will be sending at least 800 police officers to keep a lookout in the subways across the city, but not because of the recent increase in violent crime. Instead, officers will be looking for turnstile evaders.

Called “Operation Fare Play,” officers, both in uniform and undercover, will be stationed at subways across the city for five days to ensure people pay their fares.

According to NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell, this is not a one-time thing.

“We’re gonna do it time and time again. We’re not giving the locations ‘cause we don’t want people to know,” Chell said at Monday’s press conference. “What we want them to know is, ‘Don’t think you can come down here and get a free ride and bring your weapons.’”

NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper claimed that this was one of the top complaints made by subway riders and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“The tone of law and order starts at the turnstiles,” said Kemper.

“Our riders should not be subjected to open acts of lawlessness anywhere in our subway system, and that tone of law and order must start at the fare gates. Don’t do it. Don’t jump, don’t crawl, don’t come through the gate. Make the right decision.”

This time last year, 965 people had been arrested for jumping turnstiles. This year, that number has increased to 1,700.

“There’s no more freebies anymore. You talk about weapons coming down? This is where it stops,” said Chell.

According to Kemper, 13,600 people were apprehended last year in the subways; 124 had at least five arrests on their record, and more than 7,500 arrests combined over the years.

The news of additional officers being added for safety comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced last month that she would deploy the National Guard to assist NYPD officers in patrolling the subways.

After the news broke, many New Yorkers shared their displeasure with officers focusing on turnstile thieves. One user pointed out that while New Yorkers are being assaulted, NYPD is more focused on people stealing a $2.90 subway ride.

Another New Yorker noted the absurdity of hopping turnstiles being the number one customer complaint.

Many skeptics believe that the increase in officers will not deter the crime rate. A few hours before Monday’s announcement, a man was stabbed multiple times on a subway train over smoking, according to Newsmax. After the announcement was made, a person was shoved onto the train tracks and was struck and killed.

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