Bag Checks Returning to the NYC Subway System as Crime Rises

In a press conference held on Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the return of mandatory bag checks throughout the local subway system. This is in response to the increasing number of violent incidents that have taken place on the tracks throughout the year. Three people have already lost their lives in 2024 alone within the subway after violent attacks. Sunday was especially dangerous for those who used the underground public transport. A young pregnant woman was attacked while trying to get on the subway Sunday night. Also, a 64-year-old man was kicked in the back onto the tracks that same day.

The mayor mentioned in the press conference that bag checks would return to the transit system in the following days. This measure had been in place in NYC throughout 2005 as a response to the London Subway bombings of that same year. However, the practice has since been practically abandoned in most stations. In this new era, all handbags, backpacks, and other carry-on bags will be checked by police officers as people enter the subway.

To ensure the police have enough manpower to conduct these searches, the mayor announced that 1,000 more cops would be deployed to the subway, working 12-hour shifts to perform these tasks. The hope is that the increased police presence can reduce the number of violent acts in the system. In addition to the three deaths that have taken place this year, general crime incidents within the subway system are up by 13% in 2024.

Help with subway safety is also coming from the state level. On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that 750 members of the National Guard and 250 state police troopers would be added to the subway safety program. This decision didn’t come without its detractors. The governor was questioned about why she would rather send in state troopers and the National Guard instead of paying NYCPD members overtime rates. She replied that this decision was made to get bodies on the ground as quickly as possible. She also pledged to hunt down repeat offenders and bar them from using public transport. The “new” security program contemplates installing security cameras in all subway cars by the end of the year.

Moving forward, New Yorkers will have to contend with this new measure of mandatory bag checks. The governor mentioned that they would be in place as long as necessary. Mayor Adams, for his part, said that the city was working on implementing new technology to streamline the bag-checking process. People riding public transport may have to go through airport-like security checks to board their trains in the near future.

While these measures aim to increase passenger security, they could impact the time a person spends in the subway to reach their destination. To pass these new checks and arrive on time, locals will likely have to get up earlier to head to work in the city.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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