Shoplifters are stripping New York’s retail shelves all but bare these days, and fare-beaters are busting the MTA’s budget. But not to worry — City Hall has acronyms.
Gotham’s best and brightest have studied these problems for months now, and both City Hall and the MTA just coughed up proposed solutions.
The Adams administration offers PROP — the Precision Repeat Offender Program.
This will comprise a list of serial retail thieves and City Hall will be checking it twice — or three or four or five times, whatever it takes to avoid arresting anybody.
Then there is RESTORE — or Re-Engaging Store Theft Offenders and Retail Establishments, which explicitly is intended to protect shoplifters from consequences.
Really — who thinks this stuff up? How about AWS — Actually, We Surrender?
Because everybody knows shoplifting is a Crime of Poverty™ and thus not to be prosecuted — even if it has been savaging both big-box drug stores and neighborhood bodegas for years now, driving up prices, inconveniencing customers and proving to everyone else that obeying the law in New York is now a chump’s game.
Meanwhile, the MTA — which lost an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars to fare-beaters last year — also isn’t going to take it any longer.
Or so say agency bosses — who probably mean it, but who mostly are shouting into a dark subway tunnel. Progressive “prosecutors” consider farebeating to be a proper form of social protest and they treat it that way.
Thus the agency — which is supposed to be about trains and buses — just spent a year and God only knows how much money cooking up a 120-page report attempting to solve w hat essentially is a law-enforcement problem.
And not to be outdone by City Hall’s silly alphabet soup, the MTA is promoting pointless gestures of its own.
It plans to install thick plastic farebeating barriers in busy subway stations.
And if that seems familiar, it should: The chain drugstores use plastic doors to keep sticky fingers out of the toothpaste and candy-bar bins. (This isn’t exactly working, which largely is why so many chain stores have closed.)
And while the barriers surely will make the subways seem even more fearsomely claustrophobic, they’ll do little to solve another big farebeating problem: More than one-third of the MTA’s bus riders simply stroll past the MetroCard pedestals — and drivers who object get punched.
Well, to be fair, they get punched for lots of reasons — but mostly because the city has lost the moral courage to slap the ‘cuffs on criminals.
And it feels no shame about that, either.
Wasn’t Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, the George Soros acolyte and Gotham’s best-known non-prosecuting prosecutor, present Wednesday when Mayor Adams announced his Alphabet Initiative — pretending like he cares?
Why yes, he was. Appearances must be maintained, never mind that Bragg embodies the problem Adams hopes to solve with the PROP program — essentially a nonsensical list.
Let’s be clear: lists don’t work: The late Jordan Neely was on the city’s bizarre Top 50 roster of mentally ill homeless to watch — a count ’em but don’t corral ’em approach that failed him, Daniel Penny and the city at large.
No serious person is pretending that muscular crackdowns will put an end to petty thievery and turnstile-jumping altogether. That’s not the point.
But just as with illegal weed stores locally and border collapse nationally, the lack of even a pretense of enforcement leads directly to socially demoralizing chaos and — eventually — unlivable cities.
Mayor Adams and the MTA clearly are playing charades — probably because they have no choice. They’re offering camouflage, not solutions.
Don’t be fooled.
This story originally appeared on NYPost