LOS ANGELES—On February 23, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board approved a contract that enforces three different law enforcement agencies to help keep the Metro system safe.
Starting July 1, the LAPD will take over enforcement on Metro trains and buses within the City of Los Angeles, and the Long Beach Police Department will patrol transit services in the City of Long Beach. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be responsible for the other parts of the Los Angeles County, according to a press release.
“I look forward to partnering with three of the nation’s finest police agencies to keep our passengers and employees safe,” said Alex Wiggins, Metro’s Chief of Systems Security and Law Enforcement.
The proposed increase in law enforcement presence is aimed to reduce criminal activity on Metro buses and trains. Its purpose is also to reduce law enforcement response time, from an average of 16 minutes to five or six minutes.
“The safety of our Metro passengers and employees must always be our first priority,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is the First Vice Chair on the Metro Board of Directors. “Making local officers responsible for policing the areas they know best means better coverage, quicker emergency response times, and stronger accountability.”
The multi-agency contract allocates $369.3 million to the City of Los Angeles, $246.3 million to Los Angeles County, and $30.1 million to the City of Long Beach for a five-year period.
“Our ability to increase our collaboration with additional law enforcement partners will yield an increased safety and security presence,” said Metro Board Chair and Duarte City Mayor Pro Tem, John Fasana. “The Metro System is safe today, but we want to make it even safer and more secure as we continue to expand transit options throughout the county.”
While bus and train crimes have been down since the beginning of 2016, Metro is dedicated to implement new safety measures that will draw more riders.
“Our overriding goal here is to ensure our transit riders can ride and work safely – without fear – 100 percent of the time,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO.
Over 60 percent of Metro buses and 50 percent of Metro trains operate in the City of Los Angeles. Around one-third of the Metro Blue Line operates in the City of Long Beach.
Approximately 1.3 million individuals ride on Metro trains and buses each day.