The Detectives Endowment Association (DEA) is speaking out after an NYPD Detective was assaulted Tuesday during the police’s newly implemented solo subway patrols.
The sharply criticized initiative, which spreads officers out by placing them on platforms by themselves as well as entering two opposite points on a train, is off to a concerning start after a transit cop was attacked at Pennsylvania Avenue Station in Brooklyn during its first full night of patrols.
According to reports, the detective was attacked at around 6:45 a.m. on June 21 by a suspect that is known to police with a history of violence against law enforcement, and even attempted to reach for the patrolman’s firearm.
The incident reportedly unfolded after the detective discovered Alex Eremin smoking a cigarette. Once the man was told to ditch the smoke, the scuffle unfolded. Eremin was eventually taken into custody and slammed with a slew of charges.
This prompted the President of the DEA President Paul DiGiacomo to respond, discussing with amNewYork Metro about the dangers of single patrol.
“We don’t want single man patrol. We think it’s a danger not only to members of the service but also a danger to the people that are in the subway system,” DiGiacomo told amNewYork Metro.
DiGiacomo also shared that since the incident occurred, Mayor Eric Adams will be altering his solo patrol program. amNewYork Metro reached out to the Mayor’s office and was informed that after Adams met with the police commissioner and police union leaders on June 22, the solo patrol plan will be altered to account for visibility. Officers on solo patrols will be in sight of each other at all times (allowing for rapid response if a colleague is in distress). The eyesight amendment to the program ensures that officers are visible to each other through a window or a few subway cars apart, but still in close proximity to render immediate aid.
“I’ve always opposed it because many transit cops back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s lost their life doing single person patrol,” DiGiacomo said. “The politicians need to wake up and enact the laws that is going to help the police and help the people of the city, and not enact laws that tie the hands of the police, such as the diaphragm compression bill.”
“There is no time for single man patrol because once you get into an arrest situation in the train there is no one coming to help you until that next stop. That’s if you’re lucky. It’s a dangerous job, radios don’t work. The different type of policing in the subway than it is up in the street,” DiGiacomo added.
Both Mayor Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell spoke about the single officer patrol plan in Brooklyn on Tuesday, calling it a necessary measure to expand NYPD coverage and help squash subway crime.
“One thing you know about me, I would not have anyone do a job that I’m not willing to do myself,” Adams said Tuesday. “During the overnight hours, we will have police officers that are doing train patrol, you will have two officers on the train, but they won’t be standing together. One will have the back end and walkthrough, and another will have the front end and walkthrough to make sure that during the overnight hours they will have protection if there is a need for service.”