CHICAGO (CBS) — In response to a spate of robberies, the Chicago Transit Authority will be doubling the number of cameras at L stops and subway platforms.
Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports that, by the end of the year, there will be 3,000 cameras on the system. And there are plans for even more, paid for by the federal government.
CTA President Forrest Claypool says more cameras will catch more thugs in the act of committing crimes.
And it’s not just more cameras, he says.
“Transit officers who have been freed from school duties for the summer will be assigned to wolf pack patrols, highly visible teams of uniformed officers walking from rail car to rail car to provide a highly visible deterrent,” he said.
“In addition, more officers in plain clothes will be deployed to crack down on thefts of iPhones and other electronic devices.”
Chicago Police Lt. John Wittenberg, with the department’s Public Transit Section, says they do have the bodies.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser Reports
“We’ll try to put as many as it takes to solve the crimes,” he said. “As far as specific numbers, I don’t give specific numbers out.”
Claypool says the increased security is a response to recent mob attacks.
And he says cameras on-board the trains are going to come slowly.
He made the announcement at the Halsted Street Orange Line station, which is going from one camera to 20.
Eleventh Ward Ald. James Balcer says the new cameras send a clear message to criminals.
“You will be caught,” Balcer said. “You will be prosecuted. You will be sent to jail.”
CTA Rider Ramiro Herrera welcomes the extra cameras: “Hopefully [crime] will drop. Hopefully the people who try to do it, will know that they’re going to be on camera.”