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Hidden cameras installed on dozens of subway cars as part of a pilot program, MTA says

Riders share reaction to hidden cameras on subway cars
Riders share reaction to hidden cameras on subway cars 02:17

NEW YORK - Dozens of New York City subway cars are being equipped with hidden cameras in an MTA pilot program aimed at helping police solve crimes. 

Thursday, CBS2's Elijah Westbrook asked riders what they think about the new technology on trains. 

Hidden surveillance cameras are operating in more than 60 subway cars throughout the system. The MTA calls them weapons in the fight against crime. 

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said he's confident the footage they capture will help officers solve crimes that occur on trains.

"We wanted to take the next step to have the insides of actual subway cars camera equipped," Lieber said. "If you prey on our riders, on the subway system, we're gonna get your photo and we're gonna, the NYPD is gonna collar you." 

There was no immediate word on when or what subway lines the cameras are on.

The measure comes after a detective with 10 years of experience was assaulted on a 3 train platform. It happened at the Pennsylvania Avenue station Tuesday night in East New York.

The investigation revealed the detective was working alone as part of Mayor Eric Adams' new initiative to have transit cops on solo patrols, which means keeping every officer within line of sight with another cop. 

"We can readjust that plan as we do any other plan going forward, but we need to make sure that officers are seeing each other and a line of sight so they can look out for the public while looking out for each other as well," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. 

Some riders said the enhanced safety measures, including the system's new six-week hidden surveillance pilot program, are welcomed and added the problem ultimately falls on better policing. 

"Anything that can enhance safety, I'm for it. Obviously, there's a tradeoff between people's privacy and having the camera there. But I think for the good of all, that's great," Mona Rigaud said. 

"You need better police presence. That's the only way you can really do anything. There's no way you can put a conductor or a driver. That can't be their job," another rider said. 

The MTA president said cameras could be installed on additional trains, including the system's new R211 trains, in the coming weeks. 

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