New York City is considering the use of weapon-detection technology in its system after Tuesday's mass shooting and a surge in violent crime, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mayor Eric Adams says that cutting-edge screening technology could improve safety in the transit system without disrupting the flow of pedestrian traffic. Several types of screening technology will be considered, including one that the city has been using since February in a pilot program at a public hospital. “Mayor Adams has made clear that public safety is his top priority, and he is willing to test and analyze numerous forms of technology in a legal, responsible way to protect New Yorkers,” said mayoral spokesman Fabien Levy.
The mayor has pushed for public safety as he has eased COVID-19 restrictions and urged New Yorkers to return to their prepandemic routines and commutes. He created antigun units to remove illegal weapons from streets and increased officer patrols in trains and stations. Crime has increased in the city and its transit system since Adams took office. Between Jan. 1 and April 10, the city recorded 617 major crimes in the subway, a 68 percent increase from the 367 crimes during the same period last year earlier. The number of crimes in the subway for 2022 is still lower than during the same periods in either 2019 or 2020. Peter George of Massachusetts-based Evolv Technology said his company’s screening devices would have detected the weapon used by accused subway shooter Frank James if they had been installed in the subway system.