New York City Mayor Eric Adams began cracking down on crime just hours after being sworn in as mayor Saturday.
While commuting by subway to City Hall for his first day in office, the former police captain called 911 after witnessing a brawl near a station on his route.
Mr. Adams traveled without a security detail for the 30-minute trip from Brooklyn to City Hall in Manhattan and told reporters just before that his presence on the subway was no photo op.
“This is how I flow,” he said according to the New York Post. “I’m a Metro cardholder.”
“The joy of doing this is you’re carrying out an observation,” Mr. Adams said. “If it’s happening on the J line it’s happening on the 4 line, it’s happening on the 5 line, the B line. So we have to think, ‘What are we doing proactively?’”
While waiting at an elevated outdoor platform, Mr. Adams witnessed young men throwing punches on the street below and called 911.
The individuals stopped fighting by the time a squad car arrived on the scene minutes after Mr. Adams reported the incident, and were let go without questioning.
Mr. Adams said he was disappointed the officers did not question the individuals before they left the scene, and planned to use the episode as a “teachable moment” during a discussion with officers planned for later Saturday.
Mr. Adams also encountered several homeless individuals during his commute.
“These are real things that you see,” he told reporters. “When I talk about the homelessness problem in the transit system it’s not a theoretical problem, I’m seeing it.”
Mr. Adams is viewed as a more moderate alternative to his predecessor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, when it comes to fighting crime.
Amid raging debates over police reform in cities across the U.S., Mr. Adams pledged during his campaign to fight racism in the NYPD, while distancing himself from progressives who called for slashing police budgets.
Mr. Adams was sworn into office as Mayor of New York City in a Times Square ceremony just after midnight Saturday.
He told reporters he was ready to get to work when he arrived at City Hall just after 8:30 a.m.
“Yes, I am, a lot of energy. I’m ready to do what New Yorkers have been doing and that’s working hard,” Mr. Adam told reporters. “New Yorkers should be getting their money’s worth.”
– The story includes wire reports.