New York City plans to keep homeless people from boarding trains

Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hohlul on Friday announced plans to deploy police officers and mental health workers to the New York City subway, contributing to the escalation of more than 1,000 homeless people, some of whom have escalated the unrest. And harassment in the system.

Since Monday, officials say, there will be zero-tolerance policy for hundreds of officers controlling the system – people lying in train stations or stations or violating other subway rules – conduct, garbage disposal, disobedient behavior and staying at one station for more than an hour. Including.

Dozens of mental health professionals, who have the power to order unauthorized hospitalization for themselves or others, are added to the system.

“You no longer have to do what you want,” Mr Adams told a news conference. Lower Manhattan Subway Station. “Those days are over. Swipe your metro card, drive the system, get off your destination. This is the administration.

It aims to dismantle the decades-old practice of sheltering people in the country’s most congested transit system, and public safety, including the high incidence of violent crime and a number of high profile incidents. For many horsemen, some say it made them avoid the subway.

Since the onset of the epidemic, the driver has been slow to recover, has recently reached more than half of the pre-epidemic stage, and the system is facing a dangerous financial future. The long-term viability of the subway will depend on the number of passengers returning.

The plan comes after a tragic incident at the Times Square subway station last month, in which 40-year-old Michel Alisa Go was pushed to the front of a train and a homeless man with a history of schizophrenia was charged with murder.

Although Mr. Adams believed that “most homeless and mentally ill people are not dangerous to subway drivers,” his plan to evict those people from the transit system did not make such a difference.

In addition to immediate action for homeless advocates, the plan includes changes designed to link homeless people, many with mental illness, drug problems, or both to mental health services. And permanent housing.

A.D. By 2021, the number of offenses against millions of passengers a day on the Metro will increase on the Board compared to 2019. Although the number of cavalry was reduced by the number of cavalry, there were still about 25 percent of systemic attacks.

A.D. By 2021, 30 people will be pushed to the railway, with 20 out of 20 in 2019 and 2017, police said.

“People tell me their fears about using the system,” Mr Adams said Friday. “And we can confirm that fear is not a New York reality.”

The announcement came not only from the mayor and the governor, but also from the head of the transport agency, the police commissioner and city and state mental health officials, highlighting the seriousness of the issue and the central role of the authorities in revitalizing the subway. The economy of the city.

Jeffrey Gural, chairman of GPP Real Estate, praised Mr. Adams’ approach.

Mr. Gural, who owns dozens of buildings in the city, said: “It is important to get people back to the city. “It’s so easy.”

But the plan announced on Friday does not have some details and timelines, and it is not clear where most of the evacuees will go if they do not have adequate and affordable housing options for most people who choose to live on the subway. Streets. There was a little discussion about the cost of the plan or how it would be paid.

Advocates for the integration of health care and support services say it is a positive step.

“No one should feel that they have to live on the subway, and homelessness is not a crime,” said Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee. But there must be measures that these groups take to avoid harming themselves and others. This long-standing issue requires long-term investment.

But Shelley Northz, executive director of the Coalition for Homeless Policy, said the plan would make mental illness and homelessness a crime.

“Repetition of past failed police-based tactics will not stop the suffering of homeless people sleeping on the subway,” she said in a statement.

Ms. Nortz is pleased to announce the launch of a plan to increase the number of inpatient beds, private rooms and support homes that come with online social services.

But at a time when what she called “voluntary and outpatient mental health care,” including “medicine,” she was skeptical of unfettered commitment to civil liberties.

Homeless Warren Oats, who was hiding in the cold at Times Square on Friday afternoon, said police should not take people off the train unless they violate the rules.

Mr. Ots, who is in his 50s, said officers should not “be here to provoke” but “serve the law only here.”

The exact number of people on the subway is unknown, but an annual survey in January 2021 put the figure at 1,300 – and the system was shut down for four hours each night by pesticides. It is believed that the number of homeless people in the system has increased since then. By January 2020, about 1,700 before the outbreak.

The city deployed an additional 1,000 officers to the system in early January, adding more police officers to the metro this year. A week later, when Ms. Go was dying, two officers were on the opposite side of the stage.

The mayor’s order to enforce the code of conduct is an indirect confirmation that the police department was not doing so. Strictly. Mr. Adams’ officers have been receiving various messages on the matter, and he has been widely criticized for his encouragement and efforts to enforce the rules on video and on social media.

“I found your back,” said Mr. Adams, a transit officer himself. “Do your job. This is what you have to do.”

The plan seeks to address the recurring complaints of homeless people and their supporters; This is just a “delivery”, in which case a room – usually a rejected offer – is not enough for the homeless. The plan calls for the creation of about 500 new beds in private rooms.

Police officers form a team of staff and clinics to evacuate homeless and mentally ill patients from the transit system and get help to get people to hospitals.

The groups – up to 30 – are targeting drivers of high-priority stations and railways or areas where crime has been reported, said Commissioner of Police Keikant Sewel.

The measures build on the Government’s plan outlined last month by Ms. Hochul to create similar “safe alternative support” groups.

With a broader focus on untreated mental illness, the plan calls for expanding the use of Kendra law, which allows a judge to order an outpatient treatment.

The plan calls for hospitals to reverse the dramatic change in patients’ psychiatric beds over the past decade. According to Ms. Hochul, the state will increase Medicaid payments for inpatient and outpatient hospitals.

And the plan addresses complaints from some homeless organizations that the hospital emergency department is reluctant to accept some of the most disturbed mental patients or to prevent them from being surprised again before they are calm or after they have left without a plan.

The state’s mental health commissioner, Dr. Anne Marie T. Sullivan, said the agency would instruct hospitals to ensure that the most seriously ill patients – “very small percentage of people” – are committed to staying longer.

“There are many rivers that feed the homeless sea,” said Mr Adams. “If we want to solve this problem, we must limit each river.

Anna Ley Contributing Reporting.

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