Do Straphangers Feel Safer Seeing the National Guard or the NYPD?

Foto: AFP

After announcing that the National Guard would begin patrolling and checking bags at subway stations in an effort to make riders feel safe, Governor Kathy Hochul is now tweaking that plan, saying that troops who do the bag checks will do so without using “long guns” because some riders don’t feel safe seeing them. Meanwhile, critics of the National Guard deployment insist the NYPD should be handling the job of public safety in mass transit, while the Transit Workers Union says the governor’s five-point safety plan doesn’t do enough with either force to make the subway system safe for riders or transit workers in the first place.

In light of the TWU’s criticism, WOR street reporter Natalie Migliore went underground to find out whether or not the people who ride the trains believe they feel safer because of these initiatives. She appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program and shared the thoughts of riders at the 59th Street/Columbus Circle station.

Migliore found one rider who sides with the backers of the NYPD. “I think they should have police working on the train, riding the train system, [work with the conductors] ... No one should be physically or violently harmed.”

Migliore found another straphanger who stated what many believe- bail reform is the key reason for the safety plan in the first place. “To be honest with you, I think they need to really [fix] that bail reform and change it, because it’s not making anybody safe here.”

And, one rider stated perhaps another popular belief to Migliore- it won’t make a difference. “Yesterday there was a perfect example. There was one guy throwing up, all the way from 161 [in the Bronx] all the way to 20th Avenue in Brooklyn. I’m like, that’s ridiculous- and I had seen not one police officer on that train.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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