CTA Assault Sparks Outsourcing Concerns

Transit Union says the CTA should stop contracting out security guards

CTA assault

An incident over the weekend involving a Chicago Transit Authority security guard charged with handcuffing and sexually abusing a teenage boy has prompted the transit union to call for a new hiring process.

Robert Kelly, Local 308 president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, said Friday afternoon the CTA should stop contracting out security guards like the one accused of assaulting the teen.

"Who is checking the backgrounds, who are these people?" Kelly asked during a press conference Friday afternoon.

Christopher Buchanan, a contracted security guard at the Kedzie Orange Line station, allegedly led the teen into a restroom and handcuffed him after the 17-year-old jumped a turnstile early Saturday.

Buchanan, of the 4800 block of South Calumet, then allegedly removed the boy’s shoes and socks and rubbed his genitals against the teen’s foot before letting the teen go, the Sun-Times reports.

Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., confirmed in a statement that Christopher Buchanan was an employee of Star Detective & Security Agency, a subcontractor of Securitas "on the CTA account."

"Securitas USA is cooperating fully with the police investigation," the statement read. "Because of the recent allegations Securitas USA directed Star to remove Mr. Buchanan from the CTA account, which was promptly done by Star." 

Kelly said Friday the transit authority should bring back the customer assistants replaced after last February's "doomsday." The 250 or so assistants left of about 800 go through extensive checks, he said. The rest were replaced by outsourced guards to save money, Kelly said.

Thankfully the teen came forward, Kelly said. "We consider him a hero."

In a late afternoon statement, the CTA said the union was exploiting the "regrettable" incident to advance its agenda. 

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