Last week local news was abuzz with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s claim that proposed budget cuts would lead to a return of 1990s-ish crime in the city. Kelly’s concern seems pretty legitimate, considering the NYPD would decrease the amount of officers by 7,300 to a total of 32,817 officers, which is the lowest level NYC has seen since 1990.
This is why I was delighted to read that the NYPD has ramped up efforts to catch those pesky subway riders that take up more than one seat or, heaven forbid, rest their feet on an empty seat when commuting home at 2 a.m. after work. Forget robberies, rapes, and riots at such an hour, this is clearly when we should focus on enforcing Section 1050.7 of the Rules of Conduct, which says no citizen should “occupy more than one seat on a station, platform or conveyance when to do so would interfere or tend to interfere with the operation of the Authority’s transit system or the comfort of other passengers.”
If we’re going to talk “seat hoggery” then fine, I’d like to see the NYPD on my morning or evening commute issue a ticket to some 350+ pound guy that takes up two seats, thus preventing a working mother and her daughter from sitting. Better yet, maybe the NYPD should focus on the estimated 7 million New Yorkers that jumped subway turnstiles or boarded buses without paying last year because apparently only 1,826 tickets were issued for those offenses, which surely contributed our recent MTA fare hikes.
I understand that the police department needs a steady stream of tickets to fund operations, but it’s time to lay off the Dunkin’, boys. Go after the fare jumpers. Spend Saturdays at 2 a.m. stopping riots in the east village, not preying on poor kids coming home from work.