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Illogic underground



To the editor:

Law and order dog whistles are the opposite of reimagining public safety. Republicans have used them since Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign. They are the hallmarks of politically and morally bankrupt politicians. New York has two of these, both pro-business Democrats: Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams. A case in point is the fear and panic Hochul and Adams have helped to foster for those who use mass transit.

Despite a few high-profile violent crimes, over four million straphangers safely ride the subway each day. The New York Times in 2022 found that for every one million riders there was one violent crime.By 2024, that number had decreased. Crime rises and falls from month to month, but is not historically high. 

Both Hochul and Adams acknowledge crime has gone down. Adams has bragged that under his leadership New York has become the safest large city in the country. In light of the above, it's twisted logic for the mayor to deploy an additional 1,000 police to the subway system. 

The governor, not to be left out, deployed 1,000 National Guard, state police and MTA police.  Hochul has dismissed transit crime data, saying “I could show you all the statistics in the world, and say you should feel safe [but] if you’re anxious [about subway crime] I’m concerned.”  

What should concern Hochul and Adams is how their actions, using the same dog whistles about crime that right-wing Republicans use, have created a false narrative about public safety in the transit system.

There is, however, a homeless problem and a mental health problem in the subways and on the streets. Further militarization of the transit system will not solve actual problems of homelessness and mental illness.

Howard Elterman


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  • reenjoe

    Unfortunately, so long as there are political opportunists like Lee Zeldin who run wildly distorted campaigns railing against imaginary "out-of-control" crime in contradiction to actual crime statistics and gullible voters who believe the distortions, there will be political cowards like Hocul and Adams who will overreact.

    It seems the public always supports funding heavy-handed enforcement measures, while balking at increased funding for actual solutions to social problems like homelessness and mental illness.

    Thursday, March 21 Report this