Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.
TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano met Thursday afternoon with high-ranking Police Department chiefs to discuss the plague of assaults impacting Local 100 members in the subway and bus systems. Utano stressed the importance of an increased, more visible police presence to both deter crime and provide quicker responses in emergencies.
“My members come to work to do a job, and they are going home with blood on their shirts,” Utano said. “These attacks are happening more and more, and they are getting worse.” The meeting included Chief of Department Terence Monahan, the second highest-ranking officer under NYPD Commissioner Dermot O’Shea; Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes; and Transit Bureau Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, who is in charge of subway policing.
In a bit of good news, Transit Bureau Chief O’Reilly said she expects the size of her division to grow in the near future. There are two classes of recruits in the NYPD Academy, and O’Reilly has been assured a “significant number” will be assigned to the Transit Bureau, she said. Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes said precinct officers conducted 30,000 bus inspections last year. She said she would welcome union input on which routes and locations are the most problematic. Also attending the meeting were Assistant Transit Bureau Chief Vincent Coogan and Inspector Steven D’Ulisse, commanding officer of the police Public Information office. Police brass agreed to additional meetings with union leadership to exchange ideas and information regarding safety initiatives and operations.