After a man allegedly opened fire on a New York City subway, Mayor Eric Adams has been discussing the idea of installing metal detectors at stations. The idea, along with increasing the number of police officers patrolling the subway system, are two of the ways Mayor Adams is attempting to make the subways safer.
“Technology has advanced so much,” Adams said in an interview on “Good Morning America” earlier this week. “We have not advanced with technology…when it comes down to protect the citizens better. And I’m open to all technologies.”
A decision to start using metal detectors at subway stations would ultimately rest with the transit authority, which falls under state control. The idea confused some initially, presumably those who pictured the types of metal detectors seen at airports. Both Adams and his communications director have clarified that that was not what he meant.
“Just to clarify here, @NYCMayor was talking about using innovative technology to keep the subways safe. He was (of course) not saying we should consider using airport style metal detectors,” Maxwell Young tweeted Tuesday. “He’s a frequent rider and obviously knows that’s not practical.”
During the “Good Morning America” interview, Adams added, “I sent my deputy mayor public information to go to several conventions that look at the various new technologies. And there’s a new method that can detect weapons that are not traditional metal detectors that you see at airports.”
He could be referring to describing a new kind of scanner that the company Evolv has developed. It uses artificial intelligence to figure out what metallic objects are as they pass by scanners. According to a Thursday tweet from Evolv, they can screen “up to 3,600 people an hour.”
A spokesperson for a nonprofit representing New York City bus and subway passengers said despite the shooting, the subway is still the safest way to get around the city. Rather than explore metal detectors, he said New York needs to improve its transit system overall.
“By having transit that is faster and more reliable and gets to more places that people want to go is a way to boost ridership,” Riders Alliance spokesperson Danny Pearlstein said, adding that this would provide safety with strength in numbers.