With an increase in law enforcement aboard, Metro claims drastically shorter response times by utilizing LAPD
By Sadie Gribbon
Metro officially began the process of amping up Metro security by adding local LAPD law enforcement to patrol the rail and bus lines, ensuring the safety of Arcadia, Monrovia and Pasadena residents who use and rely on public transportation.
Just last week, Christopher Harrison Goodine was cited by two foot-beat officers from the Gold Line transit police for urinating in the station. When Goodine refused to identify himself, the officers arrested him and, upon searching his duffle bag after arrest, the officers found multiple weapons including guns, ammunition, rope and a machete-type knife.
Due to incidents like these, the number of people feeling unsafe on Metro has gone up over the last couple of years and Metro aims to fix it by utilizing the LAPD.
In Metro’s Spring 2016 survey, 19 percent of riders did not feel safe riding Metro rail, while feeling generally the same about waiting for Metro to arrive; 18 percent felt unsafe in the station.
“Improving public transportation means making sure that all of our transit lines are safe to ride, so that Angelenos can move around our city, and connect with one another,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a press release regarding heightened security on Metro. “This new approach puts more LAPD officers on patrol keeping our communities safe, and makes Metro a better transit system for all of our customers.”
Metro and LA county are partnering up and using Measure M funds to mirror the transit systems in Oakland, Sacramento, Denver and Portland by working with outside agencies to provide a safer ride for commuters.
Measure M is a half-cent tax imposed on retail transactions that is aimed at improving transportation and easing traffic congestion. With extensions of Metro rail and bus lines to receive $29.9 billion in funds – more than any other Measure M projects – over the next 40 years, an increase of Arcadia, Monrovia and Pasadena residents using public transportation is projected. With more riders comes more need for security.
“This law enforcement partnership with Metro will not only bolster the LAPD’s ability to respond and react to crime while protecting the commuting residents of Los Angeles, but it will also strengthen our commitment to relationship-based policing,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “The men and women of the department will be able to have more interaction with Angelenos, which will hopefully continue to build bridges between the department and the public.”
The plan for increased policing on the rails and buses is to have 314 security personnel aboard Metro over a 24-hour span. With increased police presence, Metro claims that they will be able to cut down response times for crime from 16 minutes to five to six minutes.
The bulking up on security for Metro lines became effective as of July 1, whether the increase will lead to less crime and a higher feeling of safety for commuters aboard and awaiting Metro is yet to be known.