There have been a string of violent crimes on the New York subway system in recent weeks, including a knife attack on Feb. 17 in broad daylight. This has led to New York Mayor Eric Adams announcing a new plan to deal with the issue of subway safety.
The plan takes direct aim at homeless people who have made riding the subway a nightmare for many. The new plan would bar homeless people from finding shelter on the subways.
“The system is not made to be housing,” Adams said Friday at a press conference. “It’s made to be transportation and we have to return back to that basic philosophy.”
A key component of the plan will direct the NYPD to enforce rules against people sleeping across multiple seats, exhibiting “aggressive” behavior and creating an “unsanitary environment,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. The plan, implemented in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, will also require all passengers to leave the train and station at the end of each subway line, and prohibits using the subway for a purpose other than transportation.
Adams hastened to add that the city is not going to abandon the homeless. At least, not completely.
Despite the changes, Adams vowed that his administration is “not going to abandon our homeless brothers and sisters.” The plan also calls for interventions like expanding the city’s mental and physical heath care services for unhoused people, streamlining the placement process into supportive housing, and creating additional drop-in centers for people to spend time indoors.
“This is not about arresting people,” Adams said. “This is about arresting a problem. We’re not going to be heavy handed.”
The problem isn’t homelessness per se. The problem is mental health. How many mentally ill people are wandering the streets of our cities who would be better off institutionalized? Even advocates for the mentally ill admit that there’s no way to be sure if a particular mentally ill patient will become violent. So we compassionately release these disturbed people and are very sorry when they lose touch with reality and murder an innocent person.
We have a right to protect ourselves from anyone — tragically mentally ill or not.
[Governor] Hochul on Friday also announced new investments to address homelessness and mental health in the state, including $27.5 million for psychiatric beds statewide and $12 million for 500 additional supportive housing beds.
“This is what government does,” the governor said. “We take care of people. We provide the resources and we’ll get this done.”
No, governor. The government’s first task and the reason it exists in the first place is to protect the citizens and guarantee their rights. It can’t very well help dead people.
Until the politicians stop their virtue signaling about the mentally ill long enough to address the problem, people are going to continue to be violently attacked by the mentally ill who need to be protected from themselves.