The NYPD is continuing stepped up patrols on city subways, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Sunday in an interview about efforts to protect New Yorkers after Tuesday's mass shooting on a Brooklyn train.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” alongside Mayor Eric Adams, Sewell told host George Stephanopoulos the NYPD will soon graduate a new class of recruits, part of an effort to bolster the number of police officers in the city and its transit system.
“The subways have to be safe and they will be safe,” Sewell said, adding that the NYPD has enhanced patrols since January, with an additional 280,000 inspections by uniformed officers.
“We recognize that people need to see a visible presence of police in the subway and we're endeavoring to make sure that happens, she said.
The Tuesday morning shooting inside a subway train near the 36th Street Station in Sunset Park wounded as many as 30 people after alleged gunman Frank James opened fire and set off smoke canisters.
Stephanopoulos, noting that James had posted YouTube videos with hateful messages and suggestions of violence before the attack, asked if authorities need to keep better track of individuals making threats online.
Adams said social media companies must “step up” to identify those talking about violence and that artificial intelligence could be used in the search.
“There's a corporate responsibility when we are watching hate brew online,” Adams said.
The mayor also said he is concerned by “drill music,” a subgenre of rap that can include violent lyrics.
Adams said the NYPD is doing its job but the criminal justice system is “clogged.” He said he would like to see more agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help stem the flow of guns into New York City.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capeheart,” Adams said the city crime rate is far lower overall than in the 1980s and 90s. He also said officers have taken 1,800 guns off the street during his tenure but there needs to be a focus on addressing mental health issues.
“We’re going to get crime under control and also deal with those pathways that feed criminal behavior in our city,” he said.