The New York Police Department could have dozens of new eyes in the transit system without a cop setting foot on a train if a plan to put surveillance cameras in subway cars gets the green light, reports the New York Daily News. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton envisions a future in which officers armed with tablets keep tabs on rolling subway cars remotely. “One of my officers could actually be standing on a platform waiting for that train to come in … monitoring the cameras on that subway car to see if there's an issue on that 10-car train that he wants to go and focus on,” Bratton told the newspaper.
Conductors could also monitor display terminals in their cabins between stations to detect disturbances in real time and enable prompt assessments of reports from riders via subway intercoms, Bratton said. “Cameras are ubiquitous throughout the system. Why not inside train cars?” asked John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100. “Anything that improves security and helps our conductors keep riders safe is a positive.” The transit authority is investigating the addition of cameras in the city's subway system. Chicago recently installed cameras in 830 older-model subway cars with a $13.9 million grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security. In the first three months of this year, Chicago transit cops made 60 arrests on vandalism and graffiti charges, as many as all of last year.