Bill Bratton, the head of the NYPD, presides over an army of 35,000 officers and dictates law enforcement policy for a sprawling metropolis. He is also scared of riding the subway.

Recently, a handful of people have been knifed in the New York City subways. While hastening to make clear that being stabbed or slashed is very bad for the people involved, we should recognize: it happens. There have been six knifings so far this year, compared to three in the same period last year. A difference of three incidents, in a month, in a city of eight and a half million people, in a subway system that averages 5.6 million rides per weekday. The New York City subway system is, for the most part, very safe, particularly when compared to the “bad old days” when they made The Warriors and all that shit.

And here is what Bill Bratton—a man who literally has an army of people with guns working for him—said at a press conference yesterday about our subways:

“To be quite frank with you, I always try to get on the car that has the conductor,” he said at a One Police Plaza press conference.

“I don’t get on the last car of a train — that’s going back to my police days,” said Bratton, who headed the former Transit Police Department from 1990-92.

Bratton said he “always” stands on the subway.

More seats for the rest of us.

For those of you who do not live in New York, this is roughly the equivalent of your grandmother in the suburbs telling you that she’s installing a new home security system because she saw a Dateline story about serial killers.

Anyhow, it’s good to know that New York City has a top cop who is not prone to overreacting to small disturbances.

[Photo: AP]