CHICAGO (CBS) – Metra police officers will get out of their squad cars and into commuter trains to ensure a calm summer for suburbanites heading in and out of the city.
Metra police said the move was an effort to raise officers’ visibility as the summer season brings more casual riders on the trains, along with regular daily commuters.
“So they’ll be seeing police on the trains a little more, and on the platforms; just to provide a little more assurance to them that they’re going to have a safe and secure ride,” Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.
Gillis said there has been no increase in threats or crimes on trains to prompt the change in patrols.
Metra police officers who normally patrol the Milwaukee District/North, Milwaukee District/West, Rock Island District, North Central Service, Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service, and Metra Electric District lines in squad cars will board trains instead. The various Union Pacific and BNSF lines won’t be affected, as they are patrolled by Union Pacific and BNSF police.
Gillis said there would not be any new hires; existing officers simply will be redeployed. Metra will also increase foot patrols at its parking lots and platforms; though Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center won’t see any changes from Metra, as they are patrolled by Union Pacific and Amtrak security officers.