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Rail News: Security

L.A. Metro mulls multi-agency police contract

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officers patrol near an L.A. Metro train.
Photo – LASD's Facebook account


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) board is considering a new multi-agency police contract that would split work between the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD), the Los Angeles Police Department and the Long Beach Police Department.

The move would mark a shift from the agency's current contract with LASD alone. That agreement expires Dec. 31.

A multi-agency approach would help improve response times and eliminate staffing shortages that occur during LASD shift changes, according to The Source, L.A. Metro's blog.

"Staffing is unpredictable; based on the current model I can’t predict what my staffing is going to be day to day," said Alex Wiggins, Metro's chief of system security and law enforcement.

In addition, the new contract would make police more visible on Metro's trains, buses and facilities. The Source noted that 29 percent of former passengers no longer ride because they didn't feel safe enough.

Other large transit agencies, such as those in Denver and Portland, Ore., have multiple police departments handling calls, wrote Steve Hymon, the blog's editor.

LASD officials said the new contract was "ill-advised" and may create logistical problems, according to the blog.

L.A. Metro's board will consider the new contract at a Dec. 1 meeting. The five-year proposed contract is not to exceed $546 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/23/2016