Advocates for homeless people have raised concerns about the move to deploy more than 600 New York City uniformed police officers to patrol the subway system in the aftermath of fatal stabbings.
Two people were killed and four were injured in a rash of traumatic attacks over the weekend. Each one of the victims appeared to be displaced.
Transit Chief Kathleen O'Reilly said 644 officers will patrol systems, scrutinize trains, protected entryways and journey in subway cars to the"future"
But homeless advocates argued the heavy police presence won't protect people in need of shelter.
She pointed out that officials have assured again and again to stop violent offenses like last weekend's stabbings from occurring.
"These devastating strikes are a reminder that neglecting to offer you the dignity and security of a true home during this historic pandemic is literally a matter of life and death," she added.
"The vast majority of unhoused people are peaceful and penalizing poverty will not fix the homeless crisis in nyc," a Salvation Army spokesperson told ABC News.
The organization said a more effective solution to protecting the vulnerable homeless population is to allocate capital to"expand safe, non-congregate housing for individuals experiencing homelessness" that will"restore safety and dignity to all."
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) closed the subway overnight throughout the pandemic, essentially kicking out homeless folks who often flock to metro channels for warmth in the cold winter season.
Rigoberto Lopez, 21, who police say is homeless, was detained and charged with the murder of two individuals about the A subway line , according to local ABC affiliate WABC.
Other violent incidents also have been reported over the last few months.
Last week a man was stabbed on the 1 train stage in the Christopher Street station in Manhattan and in January a person was caught in body camera footage attempting to push a woman before a train.
O'Reilly said the new group of patrol officers comprise 331 Transit Bureau officers and 313 Patrol Bureau cops and they'll be spread out throughout the subway system, particularly for evening and morning rushes.
She promised the public the Big Apple's public transit system"remains one of the safest large transit systems on the planet," including,"When a crime will occur, our officers proceed quickly to create immediate arrests."
The influx of officers is still less than the extra 1,000 officers that the MTA asked for.