Lightfoot, Chicago Police Unveil Plan to Combat Crime on CTA

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Friday the city's new public transit safety plan to add more police officers, technology and more to the public transportation system.

Lightfoot unveiled the initiative Friday morning at the Roosevelt CTA station, alongside members of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Transit Authority Monday.

Chicago police said Thursday that city officials will make a formal announcement in the coming days on law enforcement’s response to high-profile cases of violence on Chicago Transit Authority trains and tunnels. Lisa Chavarria reports.

The plan will include the addition of 50 more officers assigned to the CTA, the second-largest public transit system in the country, Lightfoot's office said. Those officers will join several hundred others already patrolling the CTA, allowing more officers to monitor activity at train stations and bus stops.

The new initiative will also dedicate a detective unit specifically to the CTA.

A 62-year-old man was stabbed Wednesday while riding a CTA Blue Line train near the Jackson station in the Loop.

City officials said Thursday that crime on the CTA system has seen a slight decrease compared to the same time last year, but did not offer specific statistics. Lightfoot's office said arrests have increased by nearly 30% this year thanks in large part to "targeted enforcement missions" and collaboration between detectives and officers in the field.

Chicago police will also add a new Strategic Decision Support Center at the department's 1st District station, dedicated to solving crimes on the CTA and in the district. That room, launching this spring, will include "smart policing technology," including access to more than 32,000 cameras installed on CTA property, according to city officials.

The new initiative comes in the wake of several high-profile crimes on the CTA.

On Feb. 20, a 23-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with a triple shooting on the CTA Monday that left a man dead and two others wounded. Two babies — 6-month-old twins — were in the vicinity of the shooting.

A man was killed and two other people were injured Monday in a shooting at a CTA subway station in the Loop. Susan Carlson reports.

On Feb. 4, a musician performing in the Red Line station at Jackson was wounded in a stabbing after a woman attacked him. She said his guitar was giving her a headache, Cook County prosecutors said after her arrest.

The day after the musician was attacked, a man was shot in a robbery on the Blue Line at the CTA’s UIC-Halsted stop. A 31-year old man was arrested for allegedly shooting the victim as they struggled over his backpack. Police are still seeking a second suspect in that shooting.

Chicago police officials have announced additional resources are being deployed to combat CTA crime following several violent incidents. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

This year, there have been at least 45 robberies on CTA trains, stations and platforms, according to the city’s crime data portal. Last year, there were 591 robberies on CTA property — the most in five years — the data shows.

Overall crime also has been creeping up on CTA property for the past five years. There were 6,321 reports of crime last year, up from 4,116 in 2015.

Last week, Chicago police announced that SWAT officers would begin patrolling CTA trains to get a handle on rising mass transit violence.

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