NYPD deploying 1K cops to remove homeless from subways
More than one thousand cops will swarm the city’s subway system early Wednesday morning when the MTA shuts the system down at 1 a.m. to clear out homeless people and clean the trains, police brass said Tuesday.
“Early, early tomorrow morning in New Yorkers will see subway stations closed, to allow for train cars and platforms to be disinfected in partnership with the MTA,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
“There is no refusal. People have to get off the subway.”
Monahan said the NYPD would provide 90 percent of law enforcement for the sweeps, with MTA supplementing the effort with its own cops and security contractors.
The 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. closures, aimed to clear out stations for deep-cleaning, will continue for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said.
At terminal stations, members of the NYPD’s homeless outreach unit — which includes both cops and nurses — will be joined by city outreach workers, who will try to get the transients as they leave.
In smaller-scale practice runs over the last week, Monahan claimed “100 percent compliance” in getting vagrants off the trains, but said the city only convinced “around 20” per night to go to a shelter or hospital.
“At the end stations where we’ve been taking them off they realize that it’s getting cleaned and everyone has to leave. No one is being picked on,” Monahan said.
The NYPD’s strategy is subject to change as needed, Monahan’s boss Commissioner Dermot Shea said earlier Tuesday.
“This is something that’s never really been undertaken to this scale,” Shea said at the mayor’s morning press conference.
“I expect it to be fluid and we will learn from tonight and as we go forward, try to develop a system that’s as efficient as possible to get the job done with the minimum amount of officers.”
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