2012-12-05 / Front Page

MTA Offers $2G Reward For Employee Assault Suspects

By Liz Goff

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last week began offering rewards of up to $2,ooo to straphangers or others who provide information and a description of suspects sought in connection with an attack on a transit worker.

The agency is displaying posters on city buses and subway cars that tell the public how to report crimes against MTA employees – and how to apply for the reward.

Witnesses are urged to call 911 to report the information or go online to www.mta.info/nyct/transitwatch.httm.

The program, dubbed “Transit Watch,” was announced earlier this year by Gob. Andrew Cuomo, after a joint conference by the MTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 100 decried a significant spike in the number of assaults on MTA personnel.

“Thousands of men and women work on the front lines of the MTA system every day to make sure millions of people can get to work safely,” MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhotta said in a prepared statement. We need to ensure they stay safe as well,” Lhotta said.

“Transit Watch puts criminals on notice that if they assault a bus or subway employee, everyone who sees it happen is going to help put them in jail.”

Customers who see a crime take place are asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers HOTLINE at 1-800-577-TIPS or click on www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

“Assaults on transit workers are on the rise and the MTA is committed to making them stop,” Thomas F. Prendergast, president of MTA New York City Transit said.

“An attack on any one of our workers is an attack on all of us and we share the goal of protecting our employees as they put their lives on the line every day,” Prendergast said.

Transit Watch is part of a national program administered by the Federal Transit Administration. The program is made possible locally by the New York City Police Foundation, which supports innovative NYPD programs like the Crime Stoppers HOTLINE.

Assaulting an MTA employee is a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

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