Deploying high-tech scanners to spot someone carrying a gun into New York City’s subway system before they have a chance to use it is an option under increasing consideration by Mayor Eric Adams (D), a report Wednesday details.
AP outlines the argument in favor of random weapon checks has returned in the aftermath of a mass shooting on a New York City subway train.
Security experts counsel installing such a system in the city’s subway system has distinct challenges but is not impossible.
The fact scanners need to be accompanied by human operators to confront people carrying firearms illegally is the main problem rather than the availability of the technology.
If approved they will help stem one aspect of the violence that is increasingly coming to define the porous mass transit system.
As the Biden crime wave surges across America, at least seven people were assaulted in New York City’s subway system over the weekend, including five stabbing victims. https://t.co/wdXLOkDeB6
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 22, 2022
“Logistically, it would be a nightmare. You’re going to have to tie up a lot of officers doing this,” James Dooley, a retired New York Police Department captain who served in the department’s transit division, told AP “We have hundreds of stations, and the fact of the matter is that putting someone at every entrance to every station is logistically impossible.”
Adams, a former police captain, has acknowledged the challenges but has said the system might still be worth trying at select locations as a deterrent, the AP report continues.
“We want to be able to just pop up at a station someplace so people don’t know it’s there,” the Democrat said, “similar to what we do when we do car checkpoints.”
The push for better subway security got renewed urgency in April after a gunman set off smoke bombs and sprayed a subway compartment with shots, wounding 10 people, as Breitbart News reported.
Then, on May 22, another gunman killed a passenger in what authorities said appeared to be a random attack.
A day after that killing, Adams again expressed interest in weapon-screening technology. And soon, mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, intensified the debate over how to address gun violence, Politco reports.
“We have identified several new technologies that are not like metal detectors that are used at airports, where you have to empty your pockets and go through a long line to get in,” Adams said on WNYC radio in one of 10 interviews he gave the morning after that attack.
“You just walk normally through the system. It is not even detectable that the devices are there. And we think there is some great promise in this technology, and we are going to continue to explore that.”
In the New York City subway, the screening wouldn’t resemble airport checkpoints, an untenable solution for a system with 472 stations, all with multiple entrances.
Instead, Adams pointed to technology that uses sensors to detect metal but also can determine the shape of an object, such as a gun, while people pass by uninterrupted.
The state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), not the mayor, controls the subway system. But Politico points out Adams would consult MTA officials about trying out new technology.
Even before the subway shooting, Adams said he sent his deputy mayor for public safety, Phil Banks, to travel the globe studying public safety technology. The mayor has also embraced the use of controversial facial recognition tools.
The move came as more people leave the city forever over crime rates – above ground as well as below.
People can’t leave New York City fast enough. https://t.co/8WdfL7o7zX
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 16, 2020
“There are new models that are being used at …. ballparks, hospitals,” Adams said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“We believe we have a technology that we can use in the subway system that many passengers are not even going to be aware that they are walking past a device that could detect weapons and we are excited about the possibilities and I’m not going to leave any legal technology off the table when it comes down to keeping New Yorkers safe.”
Adams said he did not have one specific security system in mind and would be open to various technologies.