Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

CTA Hiring 50 Cops to Patrol Public Transit

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    With Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy at his side, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday announced a new, permanent level of security that will soon be coming to the CTA.

    In response to gangs of young punks storming Chicago Transit Authority buses, attacking passengers and stealing their cell phones, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday announced plans to hire 50 police officers to patrol El stations and bus stops. 

    "Each day, the CTA provides convenient, accessible transportation to more than a million riders across Chicago’s neighborhoods," said Emanuel. "Having people permanently assigned, who know the transportation system, know the people who use it, know how its setup, having a permanent police force specific to this part of our city, is essential to making sure people can get to and from wherever they're going safely, securely without any questions about it."

    The new cops will come from the class now entering the police academy and begin work in the spring of 2012, after six months of intensive training. The CTA will pay $10 million for the extra security.

    They will replace a current team of 60 part-time officers, which currently cost the CTA $9.7 million, and will supplement the 1,500 additional surveillance cameras being installed by year's end and the current public transit unit under McCarthy's command.

     
    Additional officers would continue to be deployed to crime hot spots as needs warrant, they stressed.

    "Adding these fifty full-time officers will increase our visibility and our ability to deter crime where millions of Chicagoans spend their time every day," police Supt. Garry McCarthy said. "We will continue to work with the CTA to ensure that people don’t need to worry about their safety while riding the train or taking the bus."

    CTA President Forrest Claypool said he hopes the additional layer of security will help combat "nuisance crimes" like turnstile jumping and panhandling.

    "I'm a firm believer that if we can stop these minor incidents when we see them, we will prevent them from becoming and leading to even bigger problems for us," he said.

    In two separate incidents in June, teenage mobs boarded buses near the University of Illinois at Chicago. During one attack, a victim was struck multiple times before the thieves ran off with his cell phone.

    About 25 minutes later, near South Racine Avenue and West 13th Street, a student said he was sitting on a No. 12 bus when as many as 15 black boys and young men boarded the bus without paying.  The student was hit in the back of his head with a glass bottle and was robbed of his iPod.