The firm founded by Eric Adams’ assistant Phil Banks got the MTA turnstile contract | Techy Kings

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A security firm launched by Mayor Eric Adams’ top public safety director won part of an MTA contract to send unarmed guards to guard subway turnstiles as part of a new crackdown on fares, The Post has learned.

Rent-a-cops for the program were provided by City Safe Partners, which was founded by Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks in 2015, his resume shows, after he abruptly retired from the NYPD a few months earlier amid a federal corruption investigation that widespread.

The bank did not disclose any contact with City Safe Partners regarding mandatory ethics filings after Adams hired him, records show.

However, he continues to describe himself as working with the firm on his resume, which he has updated since returning to City Hall to reflect his deputy mayor role, while still listing the City Safe role as “Aug. 2015-Present” right below it.

A Post reporter saw City Safe security guards at work at the busy West 4th Street station on Monday.

“Although Deputy Mayor Bank is a co-founder of City Safe, he left the company many years ago and currently has no involvement,” said City Hall press secretary Fabien Levy. “He thanked the paper for telling him the company was still in business.”

Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Philip Banks (far left) founded a security company hired by the city to send unarmed security guards to subway stations.
Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Philip Banks (far left) founded a security company hired by the city to send unarmed security guards to subway stations.
Paul Martinka
An unarmed security guard from City Safe Partners mans the turnstiles at the West 4th Street station.
An unarmed security guard from City Safe Partners mans the turnstiles at the West 4th Street station.
JCRice

Levy maintains that the Bank has divested itself of the company but declined to provide any additional details.

City Safe spokeswoman Jennefer Witter said the Bank “has not been affiliated with the company since July 2018 and therefore, there has been no involvement between the Bank and the company and its business dealings since then.”

The MTA said late Monday that the new guards are part of a $16 million effort the agency is making on an existing contract it has with Pennsylvania-based conglomerate Allied United, which manages the program.

An unarmed security guard blocks an emergency exit at a subway station, which sometimes jammed riders open to allow street spinners to enter.
An unarmed security guard blocks an emergency exit at a subway station, which riders sometimes jam open, allowing street spinners to enter.
Dennis A. Clark

Allied contracted with Banks’ old firm for unarmed guards.

Allied United did not respond to a request for comment.

Adams’ response to a surge in underground violence — which Banks oversees in his role at City Hall — has drawn serious attention following nine subway murders so far this year, the highest number in a generation.

The subway crime wave has also been a defining issue in the gubernatorial race between Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and her Republican challenger, Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island, with the governor avoiding the issue until recently when Zeldin appealed to voters concerned about their own safety, polls have shown.

According to records, Banks did not disclose any contact with City Safe Partners regarding mandatory ethics filings when he was hired.
According to records, Banks did not disclose any contact with City Safe Partners regarding mandatory ethics filings when he was hired.
Dennis A. Clark

Hochul and the state control the MTA and provide security for its suburban and railroad operations. But in New York City, the NYPD is responsible for keeping order underground.

And Adams has placed Banks at the center of his public safety apparatus, often ahead of Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

The two men are longtime friends who both served as cops and share a broken policing philosophy of cracking down on quality-of-life offenses like racketeering, which in turn helps prevent violent crime and increases confidence in public safety by enforcing a sense of civic order. That way of policing was popularized by former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.

According to City Hall press secretary Fabien Levy, the Bank currently has no involvement with the company.
According to City Hall press secretary Fabien Levy, the Bank currently has no involvement with the company.
Dennis A. Clark

However, Adams’ attempts to create an “omnipresence” of public safety have been hampered by key staffing shortages in the NYPD’s Transit Division, which union officials say is 500 officers short of the authorized staffing level.

City Hall and the NYPD have responded by mandating beat cops to include subway station inspections as part of their routine patrols.

The administration has also launched a social services team – which includes two policemen, a nurse and a social worker – as part of a carrot-and-stick effort to encourage and persuade New York’s homeless and mentally ill to stop living underground and enter shelters and treatment. .

Officials claim the program has caused more than 2,400 New Yorkers to leave the subway to enter the city, but they have repeatedly declined to say how many chose to remain in shelters.

Under attack, Hochul and the MTA have also taken steps to improve the city’s efforts.

Initially, in January, the governor promised the state would fund eight social service teams to boost city-led outreach efforts and officials have exceeded that number with 10 deployed so far.

In addition to the police hiring, Hochul announced in October that 1,200 MTA Police officers would be redeployed to major city transit hubs — such as Penn Station, Grand Central, Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal — to bolster the NYPD’s depleted Transit Division.

Zeldin argued the police surge was too little, too late than Hochul, who he said should have been far more aggressive in challenging liberal lawmakers in the state House and Senate over a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice laws in 2019.

News of the City Safe arrangement comes just two months after Timothy Pearson — another public safety aide often spotted at City Hall with Banks — was caught working simultaneously for a Queens gambling company and city government.

Additional reporting by Reuven Fenton

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