The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association says that police staffing had dropped 18% in recent years in the area where the Van Alst-21st Street G line stop is located, as the PBA tries to make the case that the subway platform rape could have been avoided. Police presence for the particular Long Island City transit district that serves this stop, plus its backup district, dropped from a total of 404 to 330 police officers on the beat. The issue of subway safety and police presence in the subways becomes a bigger issue as the L train will lose conductors on night and weekend rides, leaving only the engineer, in the coming weeks. The party line from NYC Transit, the division of the MTA that oversees subways and buses, is that customer safety is a primary focus for them. As Gothamist boarded a D train at Columbus Circle last night, the train car was completely empty except for a kind of crazy looking person - three mile stare and the whole nine yards... so when we hear about things like a fine for walking between subway cars or even locking subway cars, we get worried.
You can contact the police if you have questions, comments or complaints about safety and security in the subways.