2005_06_subwaybooth.jpgWith more public outrage over the 2-3AM subway rape at a G train station in Long Island City, due to NYC Transit's rules that keep transit clerks inside token booths and the empty police booth in the station, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said there just aren't enough police officers to man every single subway station. Newsday pointed out that even though there are 32 police booths in various stations (think the Bedford L stop), "only 15 of the booths are staffed at any given time." Kelly explained:

We do rotate them, rotate officers covering those booths, just as we rotate coverage under our [Operation] Atlas program.We don't cover all of our Atlas posts. We cover them on a daily, irregular basis you might say. There is nothing unusual about the fact that a particular booth wasn't covered at a particular time. We'd like to have booths in every station to give us the option to put the personnel there, but we could never possibly have enough officers to have a booth at every station."

Well, of course not, but we hope that the MTA and NYC Transit are figuring out better safety measures! Which reminds Gothamist - Albany should cough up the money the MTA needs and the city should reevaluate giving money to the MTA - there's no way the MTA alone can figure out how to improve rider safety when it's struggling for average service. Police sources told Newsday that if the booth were manned, it's possible the attack could have been recorded on a closed-circuit monitor. Gothamist wonders if this incident will spur even more subway stations - and politicans to call for them - to be wired with video cameras.

The NY Post reunited a photographer who was attacked and thrown onto the tracks at the Clinton-Washington A station in Fort Greene last month with the transit worker who helped her out; police suspect that her attacker is the same man who raped the woman at the 21st Street G stop. The photographer was on her way back to the Lower East Side at 3:30AM when a young man borrowed a pen from her. When he approached her again as he was masturbating, she tried to walk away but he threatened her with a box cutter and choked her until she blacked out, later finding herself on the train tracks.

Photograph from Newsday