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NYC Mayor Adds Gun Detectors in Subway Stations for Extra Security

New York City Mayor Eric Adams started the process of installing gun detection technology in subways on Thursday, as part of efforts to combat crime in one of the world's largest public transportation systems, Politico reports. The devices, which are used in sports stadiums and museums across the city, could be rolled out in subways following a mandatory 90-day waiting period required for all new police technology. Thursday’s announcement follows a viral video of a shooting on the subway and marks an escalation of Adams’ aggressive push to make New Yorkers feel safer as public opinion on the issue plummets. “Would I prefer us not having to walk through this to come on our system? You’re darn right I do,” Adams said. “But we have to live life the way it is and work to make it what it ought to be.” Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul, like-minded centrist Democrats, have been taking steps to deter subway crime as they face the political peril of riders who feel unsafe colliding with New Yorkers distrustful of aggressive policing.

Fewer than half of respondents to a recent survey of New York City residents said they felt safe on the subways during the day, down 40% from 2017. Fewer than a quarter said they felt safe on the subways at night, down 52% from 2017. “Stats don’t matter if people don’t believe they are in a safe environment,” Adams said, adding that the subway system sees over 4 million riders and just six felonies each day. The devices announced Thursday detect guns but not other metal objects like phones or water bottles, Adams said. They are manufactured by Evolv, and failed stress tests in 2022. Adams emphasized that the technology has improved and said they now work nearly every time. The pilot will start with a handful of detectors, Adams said, adding that the NYPD will analyze where to place the devices based on crime trends. If it’s successful, he added, City Hall could request funding for more detectors from both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and city-based businesses interested in investing in the technology in nearby stations.


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