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A group of bi-partisan lawmakers are asking New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority why multiple subway cameras weren’t working when a gunman opened fire at a Brooklyn subway station earlier this month, injuring nearly 30 people.
In a letter sent to MTA Chairman Janno Lieber Wednesday, nearly a dozen house lawmakers said the Lieber must be more transparent with how the agency uses federal funds to secure the subway system and protect riders.
They noted that there are more than 10,000 cameras within MTA’s control, with 600 in stations along the N line on which the April 12 shooting took place as the train entered the 36th Street subway station. The MTA has confirmed that cameras in three Brooklyn station were not working during the mass shooting.
The lawmakers said MTA has received nearly $50 million in federal funds over the past two fiscal years and demanded to know how that money was spent.
They asked how much of that funding has specifically been allocated for the MTA’s camera system, including maintenance of the system, installation of cameras and updating the camera. They also wanted to know how often the cameras are audited by MTA or a third-party.
“With an average of over 2 million daily riders, the subway system is the lifeblood of New York City,” they wrote. “Although the suspect responsible for this attack has been arrested, it is imperative that we have systems in place to keep riders safe and ensure attacks like this never happen again.”
They requested that MTA provide answers to these questions in writing no later than April 30, 2022.
MTA Chief of External Relations John McCarthy told Fox News that the agency plans to provide the lawmakers with a “detailed response.”
“We have made significant use of the Transit Security Grant Program, but we have been disappointed that funding has been flat since 2012, after a significant decline. As the NYPD said last week, MTA video and other evidence throughout the transit system provided critical support to the investigation and apprehension of the suspect in last week’s subway shooting,” McCarthy said.
“The NYPD’s Domain Awareness System relies on live feeds from 5,100 MTA cameras and an additional 5,000 cameras recording locally throughout the subway system that are used dozens of times on a daily basis to identify specific incidents, crimes and perpetrators.”