New York Metropolis’s first transit cop-turned-mayor joined a staff of the NYPD’s most interesting to patrol the subways after darkish — and took The Submit alongside for the experience.
Throughout extra three hours underground, Mayor Eric Adams traveled throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, observing the modifications which have taken place since he labored the beat.
Amid this 12 months’s surging crime charges — together with an alarming, 54% spike within the transit system — Hizzoner in contrast his problem to the one which confronted former NYPD Police Commissioner Invoice Bratton, whose “damaged home windows” technique helped carry each the subways and the town underneath management throughout the Nineties.
“We are able to now not ignore quality-of-life points,” Adams mentioned.
“I’m once more the place Bratton was.”
In a chilling signal of the occasions, Adams needed to delay the deliberate begin of his journey so he might cease in Harlem to go to the dad and mom of faculty basketball star Darius Lee, who was killed in a mass taking pictures at a neighborhood cookout simply hours earlier.
Right here’s what The Submit noticed late Monday and early Tuesday:
EVEN THE MAYOR HAS TO SWIPE
9:20 p.m., one hundred and thirty fifth Avenue station at Malcolm X Boulevard, Harlem
Adams arrives sporting an NYPD cap and a navy blue windbreaker with the phrases NYC MAYOR in yellow on the again and his identify over his coronary heart.
A high adviser, Tiffany Raspberry, swipes a MetroCard so her boss can cross by way of a turnstile, after which three individuals method and ask to take images with Adams, with one man overheard telling the mayor about his spouse’s incapacity.
“You by no means know who you’re going to see on the subway,” Hizzoner says afterward.
NYPD Sgt. Victor Tavarez, main a five-member Transit Bureau staff, greets Adams and says that after boarding a prepare, two cops would patrol the entrance automobiles whereas two patrol the rear, and in addition look out the home windows every time the prepare stops at a platform.
After getting on a No. 2 prepare, Adams compliments Tavares on his management expertise and predicts that the 40-year-old will transfer up the ranks of the NYPD.
“These are the qualitative supervisors,” Adams later tells The Submit.
“These cops are gonna do their job.”
‘THIS SUBWAY WAS GLOOMY’
9:55 p.m., Instances Sq.-Forty second Avenue station, Midtown Manhattan
Adams and the cops get off the prepare and stroll by way of the station to the southbound N-Q-R-W platform the place they board an R prepare.
Adams sits down subsequent to a lady, “Melissa,” who shoots a selfie video with him.
Seated throughout the automobile are a mom and son from Virginia, with the mother telling Adams they’re on the teenager’s “commencement journey” and staying at a lodge on thirty sixth Avenue.
“You gotta come right here to reside, man,” the mayor mentioned.’
“He desires to!” the girl mentioned of her son, who’s sporting a Yankees cap.
After the vacationers get off on the thirty fourth Avenue-Herald Sq. station, Adams, a 62-year-old Brooklyn native, reminisces about driving subway trains throughout the crack epidemic of the Nineteen Eighties.
“You realize, this subway system was gloomy. It was gloomy,” he mentioned.
“It was scary simply to be within the system, you already know.”
‘WE HAVE TO BE SMARTER RIDERS’
10:05 p.m., 14th Avenue-Union Sq. station, Manhattan
Adams will get off the prepare and friends throughout the tracks at two ladies who’re gazing their cellphones whereas standing aside in a poorly lit space between a staircase and the tracks.
“See now, take a look at this,” he says.
“They shouldn’t be there, these two younger women, standing by themselves, out of sight, on this hidden space.”
As a substitute, Adams says, “They need to be standing by, you already know, the assistance button proper there, proper close to the steps.”
“We’ve to be smarter riders to not enable individuals to be the sufferer,” he provides.
Adams says that when he was a transit cop on patrol, he was at all times looking out for potential victims — and freely admits having profiled individuals to take action.
He additionally foresees the ladies throughout the tracks setting themselves up for future hassle.
“This time of night time, these women are standing by themselves,” he says.
“After which, that behavior turns into: 1 within the morning, once they’re coming from the get together, ‘I’ma do the identical factor.’”
The subsequent day, Adams seizes on the incident as he discusses subway security at a information convention in Brooklyn.
“We’re going to maneuver with the MTA to place in place a large marketing campaign on the best way to be a secure passenger,” he says.
“Many individuals don’t know one of the best place to face throughout the late hours is within the conductor’s place. There are zebra stripes close to the ceiling on a bar that tells you the place the conductor place is. We have to educate individuals to try this.”
PREVENTING ‘DOWNSTREAM’ PROBLEMS
10:25 p.m., Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Heart station, Brooklyn
Following a brief journey on a Brooklyn-bound N Prepare, Adams meets NYPD Lt. Ryan Murphy, who’s been assigned to the Transit Bureau since 2008.
Murphy tells the mayor that the night time has been pretty quiet, with some subway riders enjoying loud music and some visibly intoxicated.
“How’s the communication?” Adams asks, referring to the NYPD’s handheld, two-way radios.
When Murphy says they’re working high quality, Adam recollects how when he was on the job, “you had too many lifeless spots within the system” and the way cops needed to faucet their nightsticks to alert colleagues when their walkie-talkies weren’t functioning.
Murphy tells the mayor that there are “a number of high quality of life points we’re attempting to cope with at the moment, including that riders who arrive within the station will usually tip him off to unruly or emotionally disturbed passengers by clearing their throats and gesturing with their eyes.
“And now you already know, it’s like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna are available and say howdy to individuals on this prepare automobile possibly a bit bit extra totally,” he says.
“We speak and, you already know, we bought to carry the prepare one other minute. You realize, individuals usually don’t like us due to that, but it surely’s simply to make it possible for we’re not letting any sort of points go downstream. We are able to deal with them whereas we are able to handle all the pieces proper right here.”
‘WE NEED STRONG PEOPLE’
11 p.m., Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Heart station, Brooklyn
Whereas patrolling the station with Murphy and the opposite cops, Adams is approached by Yemeni immigrant Saad Alansi, 29, who brings alongside a buddy’s youngsters, ages 7 and eight, to pose for a photograph with the mayor.
Alansi later tells The Submit he initially feared that Adams’ presence meant there’d been one other incident just like the April 12 mass taking pictures within the thirty sixth Avenue subway station in Sundown Park.
However when a cop informed him that wasn’t the case, “I mentioned: Are you critical? I’m going to satisfy him now!”
Throughout his dialog with Adams, Alansi says, “I mentioned he’s doing nice job, particularly on this time as a result of America is down.”
“However we want robust individuals like Mr. Adams. He’s going to be No. 1 for New York,” he provides.
“All of us Yemenese individuals work in smaller retailer and market. We’d like him to assist us.”
‘THE MAYOR OF WHAT?’
11:55 p.m., Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue station, Brooklyn
Adams arrives on the finish of the N line, the place MTA staff are ready on the platform with buckets of strong-smelling cleansing liquid.
Adams shakes arms with cleaners and walks as much as a staff of homeless outreach staff in orange T-shirts who have been about to start out their shifts.
One, Shukura Cooper, stands with a dazed and raveled younger man sporting a green-and-white striped shirt with a dark-colored stain — probably blood — down the entrance.
Cooper introduces the homeless man to Adams, saying, “That is the mayor.”
“The mayor of what?” the person asks.
Amid laughter, Cooper says the person — who holds a pair of socks in a single hand and has a change of clothes draped over a shoulder — has agreed to just accept assist from the town, together with a mattress in a shelter.
However when Adams walks away, the homeless man drifts off, with DHS Deputy Commissioner Cassandra White saying Wednesday, “He’s somebody who’s clearly entrenched…he took clothes, she gave him socks. However he couldn’t settle for the companies.”
About quarter-hour after the encounter, as Adams is getting ready to depart the station, one other homeless man approaches him, jangling a key ring and repeatedly shouting, “I bought my keys!”
White tells Adams, “Sir, this isn’t scripted” and says the person was headed to a “secure haven” homeless shelter when he heard Adams was within the station and mentioned, “I need to see the mayor!”
‘IT’S ALMOST DEJA VU’
12:04 a.m., Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue station
Adams visits his previous stomping grounds within the subterranean headquarters of Transit District 34, the place the mayor started his police profession in 1984.
After strolling behind the entrance desk to look at the log ebook, Adams appears wistful as he chats with the cops on obligation.
Later, he says, “It’s nearly deja vu to be again right here in District 34, a spot I began my policing profession.”
Adams recollects “patrolling the subway, driving the trains, 8 at night time to six a.m. within the morning, 5 days every week throughout a really harmful interval in our metropolis.”
“However all the pieces I realized is a part of what’s being the mayor now, what I realized right here in these early days of policing,” he says.
12:40 a.m, Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue station
After ducking out of the station to purchase a cup of tea with almond milk and two baggage of peanuts, Adams says, “Y’all not able to give up?” as he proclaims that he’s going to increase his tour and take the F prepare to the Jay Avenue-MetroTech station in Downtown Brooklyn.
The station is positioned simply steps from Borough Corridor, which Adams ran as Brooklyn borough president earlier than being elected mayor.
The F prepare, he says, has a “totally different power” as a result of the automobiles are wider and have extra space between the seats on both aspect.
Whereas Adams waits to depart, a feminine MTA employee approaches to take a selfie with him.
“Let’s make your boo jealous,” Adams says they usually each chuckle.
In the meantime, prepare operator James Rabel says he’s “driving shotgun” with the mayor and calls the early morning journey the “spotlight of my profession.”