The NYPD and the MTA are combating skyrocketing subway crime with a surge of new recruits.
NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox announced yesterday that 243 rookie cops from the Police Academy’s January graduating class have been assigned to the Transit Bureau. Those recruits bring the total number of dedicated subway cops to 2,496, he said.
But don’t be too impressed: Fox said the addition only brings the total number of transit cops back to 2010 staffing levels.
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“Subways are very busy places,"said Fox of the new hires. "They’ll be put to good use.”
The chief bragged that in their first 13 days on the force, each rookie has made at least one arrest.
The new police are sorely needed underground.
Although crime was up in 2011, MTA statistics released yesterday reveal that the NYPD hasn’t kept pace with increased arrests.
In 2011, there were 1,392 fewer arrests on the trains than in 2010. There were also 12,962 fewer summonses issued last year than in 2010.
MTA board member Andrew Albert said yesterday he was concerned with the growing crime of subway fare evasion. “I’m seeing more fare evasion than I’ve seen in a long time," he said.
Fare evasion was the one area where the NYPD has made more arrests, 427 more in 2011 than in 2010.
“We’re in the process of doing all we can,” said Fox.
Subway crime increase
350 more major felonies, such as rape, murder and grand larceny, were committed in the subway system in 2011 than in 2010, a 16 percent increase, according to the MTA.
In 2011 an average of nearly seven major felonies were committed every day, up from an average of 6 major felonies committed daily in 2010 and 5.6 per day in 2009.
In 2009, 35 percent of subway crime was the theft of electronics, and in 2011, that number grew to 49 percent, according to NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox.
In 2011, the majority of crimes were committed in Brooklyn (37 percent) and Manhattan (35 percent), with the Bronx (16 percent) and Queens (12 percent) making up just one-third of crime.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro