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New York City Will Try Gun Scanners In Subway System

 New York City Will Try Gun Scanners In Subway System

In this photo provided by The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), new weapon detectors that can be deployed at subway entrances are displayed during a news conference in New York, March 28, 2024. (Marc A. Hermann/Metropolitan Transportation Authority via AP)

NEW YORK: New York City has announced a pilot programme to deploy portable gun scanners in the subway system, part of an effort to deter violence underground and to make the system feel safer. The scanners will be introduced in certain stations after a legally mandated 90-day waiting period, Mayor Eric Adams has said. “Keeping New Yorkers safe on the subway and maintaining confidence in the system is key to ensuring that New York remains the safest big city in America,” said Adams, who also announced a plan to send additional outreach workers into New York subway stations to try to get people with mental health issues who are living in the system into treatment.

Adams said officials would work to identify companies with expertise in weapons detection technology and that after the waiting period the scanners would be instituted in some subway stations “where the NYPD (New York Police Department) will be able to further evaluate the equipment’s effectiveness.”

The scanner that Adams and police officials introduced at a news conference in a lower Manhattan station came from Evolv, a publicly traded company that has been accused of doctoring the results of software testing to make its scanners appear more effective than they are.

Jerome Greco, supervising attorney of the digital forensics unit at the Legal Aid Society, said gun detection systems can trigger false alarms and cause panic. “This administration’s headstrong reliance on technology as a panacea to further public safety is misguided, costly, and creates significant invasions of privacy,” Greco said in a news release.

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Adams said the city would perform its own analysis of the scanners’ accuracy. “People may have had bad experiences with this technology,” Adams, a former transit police officer, said. “What we witnessed, it’s living up to our expectations. And we’re going to do an analysis and determine, hey is it living up to our expectations.”

City officials did not say exactly where the scanners would be installed. The device they demonstrated at the Fulton Street station beeped after brief delay when a police officer with a holstered gun went through but was silent when officers carrying cellphones and other electronic devices passed through.

Overall, violent crime is rare in the New York subway system, which serves about 3 million riders a day, but there have been two recent high-profile shooting incidents. Earlier in March, a man was shot with his own gun and critically wounded during a confrontation with another passenger. Last month, one person was killed and several others wounded when shots rang out amid a fight between two groups on a rush-hour subway car.
There were five killings in the system last year, down from 10 the year prior, according to police. There were three homicides in the first two months of 2024.

With inputs from AP

Subrat Nanda

At six feet and over, cool, calm and always collected. Never a hair out of place. He is the high priest of editorial facts, grammar is his baby and headlines are meat on the bone. Loves samosas and cricket, tracks Twitter and when in his cups, nothing better than Jagjit Singh’s ghazals.