NYPD deploys 800 more cops to subway to crack down on fare evasions: ‘Key component to our crime-reduction strategy’

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The New York Police Department announced Monday plans to deploy another 800 uniformed and undercover officers to the city’s subway system to crack down on fare evasions, the New York Post reported.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell stated during a press conference that the department will increase its presence at multiple subway stations over the next five days to prevent fare-beaters in a five-day initiative called “Operation Fare Play.” He claimed the effort will help curb the uptick in violent crimes.

Chell would not reveal which substations the officers would be stationed at but noted that the locations would be selected based on crime levels, Metropolitan Transportation Authority statistics, and community complaints, the Post reported.

According to NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper, the MTA and the community feel “blatant fare evasion at the turnstiles” is a “primary” and ongoing issue.

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“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,” Kemper said. “Don’t do it. Don’t jump, don’t crawl, don’t come through the gate. Make the right decision.”

Chell noted, “This is not a one-week deal.”

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

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

So far this year, the NYPD has issued 28,000 summonses for fare evasion and 1,700 have been arrested, Kemper reported. Additionally, 20 subway riders were caught with firearms. Eleven of the guns were discovered when police stopped individuals for fare-beating.

Kemper believes the operation will be effective at “correcting behavior and keeping the subway system safe and our riders ultimately safe.”

“Let me be clear: Fare evasion enforcement and turnstile presence is a key component to our crime-reduction strategy. We do that every day. Every day of the year. This is not something new. This week we’re stepping it up,” he added.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber stated, “We’re thrilled by the commitment to transit safety demonstrated again and again by Mayor (Eric) Adams and the NYPD.”

A recent Post report found an overall drop in subway crime but an uptick in violent attacks that have caused serious injury. There were 373 felony assaults in 2019, and that number jumped to 570 last year.

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