CHICAGO (CBS) — Violent crimes on the CTA in two weeks is forcing the city of Chicago to take action that will include SWAT officers.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov has more from the Lake Red Line stop where a beefed up police presence is already in place.
And acting CPD superintendent Charlie Beck said it’s only the start of permanently making the CTA safer. It’s happening after CTA crime numbers soared over the past few years.
It’s something Chicago police have said that CTA riders will see more frequently: Officers at stations. On platforms. Patrolling. Fifty or more of them assigned to the CTA altogether.
“We really stepped up patrols within the districts. We’re having district officers stop by the platforms, stop by the train stations multiple times during their tour,” said Dep. Sup. Anthony Riccio.
It’s part of a new CTA security plan the city plans to formally roll out in a week. In addition to extra patrol officers, acting superintendent Charlie Beck said SWAT members will be out on trains too.
‘Not SWAT officers in full tactical gear, but SWAT officers that are the best and the brightest of my police officers to make sure the trains are safe,” Beck said.
The move comes days after a man shot and killed a man in the Jackson CTA tunnel connecting the Red Line and Blue Line.
And on February 5, a passenger was shot on a Blue Line train near UIC. And a street performer was stabbed at a Red Line stop.
But serious crimes on the CTA trains and stations have jumped dramatically in recent years, with 1,187 in 2015 and climbing steadily to more than 2,300 last year. Police said bolstered security will also include technology linking CTA with CPD district tech rooms.
Beck along with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot plan to release more details of the security plan next week.