About half of security cameras in NYC subway don’t work
NEW YORK — About half the 4,313 security cameras installed along New York City’s subways aren’t seeing a thing — a blind spot in the crime and terrorism safety net for the nation’s largest city.
“A lot of those cameras don’t work, and maybe someday we’re going to get very badly hurt because of it,’’ Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday.
While cameras are out of commission in the subway, the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority has also been forced to cut police patrol shifts on major bridges and tunnels on the weekends.
The problem of missing video came to light after two men were stabbed to death on the subway and there was no camera installed in the station. Darnell Morel and Ricardo Williams, both 24, were killed in a fight that started around 5 a.m. Sunday at the Christopher Street station in downtown Manhattan.
The New York Police Department says it doesn’t depend on the cameras. Instead, officers patrol the subways and set up random bag searches in stations around the city.
Overall, crime is down in the subways. In 1990, there were about 50 crimes a day reported in the subway, and now there are about five, according to police.
The NYPD is installing thousands of cameras around the city and is using private surveillance installed in major buildings as part of a massive security initiative. In addition, 500 specialized cameras are in place — an image from one of those cameras led officers to a suspect wanted in the brutal assault of a woman in a bar a few weeks ago.