NYC To Bring Back Bag Searches, Surge 1,000 Officers Into Subway System
New York City Mayor Eric Adams attends a memorial for the 30th anniversary of the killing of teenager Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 01, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City is reimplementing some tough-on-crime policies while surging police officers into the city’s subway system amid a spike in crime.

Democratic Mayor Eric Adams announced the revamped approach to crime during a press briefing on Tuesday. Adams’ efforts are supported by New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, who committed state resources to the crackdown.

“We are going to continuously make sure we show a visible presence to deal with how people are feeling in our subway system right now,” Adams said, according to NBC New York. “When I ride, people say, ‘Eric, nothing makes me feel safer than seeing that officer walking through the system, walking trains.’”

The city intends to increase police presence in the subway system train as they work 12-hour shifts. Adams said the change could be a significant deterrent to would-be criminals. The state is supporting the surge with 1,000 additional officers composed of 750 national guardsmen and 250 state police, according to the New York Post.

“These brazen heinous attacks on our subway system will not be tolerated,” Hochul said on Wednesday. The crackdown on crime in New York City comes after a spate of violence in the city’s subway, including three New Yorkers fatally shot on the subway this year.

Part of the plan to curb criminals plaguing the city is to reimplement stop-and-search of riders’ bags at train stations, a move reminiscent of the stop-and-frisk policy that ended under Adams’ predecessor, former Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio. Stop-and-frisk ended after de Blasio, who ran for mayor on reforming the practice, sought a resolution to a years-long court battle over the policy, deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge. 

Adams has expressed support in the past for aspects of stop-and-frisk.

On Tuesday, Adams said police would search bags at train platforms to check for weapons and potential weapons, such as knives, box cutters, and firearms.

“We are reinstituting bag checks. There are several things we are reinstituting in the system,” Adams said, according to CBS News.

The city is also looking at getting machine detectors, similar to those used at airports, to scan riders.

“We’re definitely on the pathway of coming up with some new technology that’s going to help us identify weapons, as well as guns. My big thing is guns,” Adams said.


Hochul’s office expressed support for Adams’ new public safety plan on Tuesday.

“Governor Hochul has made historic commitments to make our subways safer, from security cameras to mental health personnel, and tomorrow she will unveil new legislation to protect riders, new State personnel to assist NYPD with bag checks, and other new measures to keep New Yorkers safe,” a representative from Hochul’s office said, according to NBC.

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