June 20, 2011: CTA head Forrest Claypool explains how new cameras and extra manpower will increase safety on the city's trains.
New multiple-angle cameras and a larger police presence are part of the CTA's new security plan to help fight crime, transit officials announced Monday.
New CTA chief Forrest Claypool said the agency plans to double the number of cameras throughout the rail system by 1,500 to record criminal activity "no matter where it occurs."
Chicago police also will deploy "wolfpacks" of officers. Claypool said the process of saturating the system is being accelerated because the agency is "cutting the red tape" by using pre-approved technology vendors.
“It should send a message to would-be criminals that we’ll be watching, and using every tool at our disposal to assist the police,” Claypool said.
The announcement follows a string of smart phone and iPad robberies on the CTA. In March, a 68-year-old deacon was knocked down a staircase and killed during an iPhone robbery at the Fullerton station.
Recent teen mob attacks once again put CTA safety in the spotlight. Earlier this month, a group of five attacked and robbed 35-year-old Jesse Anderson, brother of rocker Billy Corgan, at the Red Line's Chicago station.
Three more teens were charged in a separate attack on a CTA bus.
There are currently 1,500 cameras in rail stations and on platforms. After the additional 1,500 are installed, plans are in place to add cameras to train cars, as well.
“Additional security cameras will serve as a critical tool in investigations and strengthen the effects of this partnership,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement.