Governor's Announcement: 500 Additional Police to be Deployed to Fight Assaults and Fare Evasion in the Transit System

A TWU Local 100 campaign to get more cops in the transit system to deter worker assaults has paid off in a big way: an additional 500 police officers will be deployed to the subway and buses, authorities announced Monday morning.
    Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano has repeatedly blasted Mayor de Blasio for failing to address the barrage of attacks on transit workers –and has repeatedly called for a greater law-enforcement presence. Utano and the Local 100 administration have also pressed the issue with elected officials, transit executives and the media through scores of interviews, several recorded union advertisements on 1010 WINS radio and several opinion pieces in The New York Daily News.
    “This is a big victory for Local 100 and for our members,” Utano said. “We want to go to work and do our jobs and go home to our families unharmed. We are sick and tired of the abuse. We are hopeful that these additional officers will not only deter attacks against our members but also result in quick arrests when crimes do take place. Our voices have been heard. This is a big step forward.”
    Gov. Cuomo credited the TWU’s leadership for raising the issue of worker assaults.  “I want to thank the Transport Workers Union, Tony Utano and John Samuelsen, for bringing this issue of assaults on MTA personnel to the forefront. They’ve been talking about it for years and they are right.”
    Cuomo announced the infusion of additional officers at his Manhattan office with MTA Chairman Patrick Foye. Their mission will be to increase rider safety, protect workers and address farebeating, which drains hundreds of millions of dollars a year. There is a direct correlation between fare evasion and assaults on transit workers. The most tragic case being the murder of Bus Operator Edwin Thomas, who was stabbed to death by an ex-con in Brooklyn after a dispute over the fare. MTA data has shown the routes with the highest fare evasion rates often have high number of Bus Operator assaults.
    The additional police officers will include a contingent from the NYPD and former MTA bridge and tunnel officers.