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TriMet redirects police funding to community services

TriMet will redirect $1.8 million in available funding to community-based public safety approaches.
Photo – TriMet Facebook


The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) yesterday announced it will reduce its transit police force and redirect $1.8 million in available funding to community-based public safety approaches. 

For the next fiscal year starting July 1, TriMet has committed to:

  • conduct community listening sessions within 90 days to gather feedback from riders and employees on the best approaches to providing security on the transit system; 
  • establish a panel of local and national experts to advise TriMet on national best practices for transit security, equity and community engagement in safety and security; and 
  • pilot a new non-police response resource, such as mobile crisis intervention teams for mental and behavioral health issues.

While TriMet will retain transit police officers on its system, it announced it will reduce the number of police officers by six positions as it pursues additional community-based public safety teams.

The decision comes after nationwide protests over police brutality, with many protestors calling for the defunding of police.

"TriMet shares the outrage, frustration and pain over the recent tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson and Ahmaud Arbery. Their deaths and those of too many others lost to unconscionable violence, magnify the systemic racism, discrimination and disparate treatment against African Americans and other people of color still rampant in this country," TriMet officials said in a press release. "The movement that we see happening across Portland and the country reflects a national awakening of the need for immediate, yet lasting change to stop racial injustice once and for all."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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