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Metro says dumping deputies in favor of local police will address safety concerns


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  • Metro says dumping deputies in favor of local police will address safety concerns

    Transportation officials are seeking to shift many Metro policing duties from the Sheriff’s Department to the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments, a significant change in approach to public safety on the county’s sprawling bus and rail system.

    A report written by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and reviewed by The Times recommends transferring public safety responsibilities for more than half the subway and light-rail system and 60% of the region’s bus service away from the Sheriff’s Department.

    Instead, agency staff said, the LAPD should oversee bus and rail service and other Metro facilities in Los Angeles, and Long Beach police officers should patrol eight Blue Line stations. The Sheriff’s Department would patrol the remainder of the system.

    Metro’s directors will consider awarding the policing contracts, worth almost $527 million over five years, at the board’s Dec. 1 meeting. The new policing structure would take effect in January.

    The Sheriff’s Department, the sole agency policing the Metro transit system since 2003, has “poor system-wide visibility” and struggles to schedule enough deputies to meet required staffing levels, staff wrote.

    Hiring Long Beach and Los Angeles police in their own cities would “vastly improve performance” and visibility on the system, Metro staff wrote, and would be nearly $100 million cheaper than hiring more sheriff’s deputies.

    Metro and the Sheriff’s Department transit policing division did not return requests seeking comment Friday.

    Riders have complained that they rarely, if ever, see deputies on trains or buses. In a recent survey, 29% of former riders told the agency that they stopped riding because they felt unsafe. Another survey found that one in 14 passengers had been groped or touched inappropriately on transit.

    Under the new contracts, the number of law enforcement officials riding the system’s 2,228 buses would increase from six to 34.

    “The proposals present reliable staffing options, reduce existing emergency response times, and have capable ancillary services,” the report noted, including traffic enforcement and an emphasis on community policing, a practice that focuses on officers building ties with the communities in which they work.

    Many Metro rail and bus lines in Los Angeles also cross into at least one of the other 87 cities in the county, which could pose new jurisdictional challenges.

    The report noted that the structure would add a “layer of complexity” in how law enforcement agencies respond to crimes, but could be addressed through better computer dispatch systems and frequent “communication and collaboration” between agencies.

    In the past, auditors have faulted Metro for failing to develop a formal plan or hire any employees to ensure that the terms of policing contract were met.

    Two years ago, Metro’s inspector general found that the Sheriff’s Department had failed to meet its goals to reduce violent crime on the bus and rail network and had not adequately tracked emergency response times.

    The audit also found that Metro and law enforcement officials had not reliably measured fare evasion. Metro had asked deputies to reduce the rate of fare-jumping to 2%, but agency studies and other reviews suggest the number is much higher.

    After those findings, Metro’s directors voted to strengthen oversight, including requiring audits of the transit police every two years.

    The new contract would shift responsibilities for fare-checking and monitoring security camera footage to Metro staff. The agency would also continue to employ private security guards.

  • #2
    And these cops will magically appear from where now..?
    Now go home and get your shine box!


    • #3
      Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
      And these cops will magically appear from where now..?
      Seems like one could do a lot of magic with " almost $527 million over five years". Does LASD assign deputies full time to transit duty or do they do it with overtime gigs?


      • #4
        LASD has a full time bureau or station assigned to Metro. they deploy out of three stations to cover the county. All of the Deputies are assigned there. they do their patrol training at one of our faster stations for 4 months then head to Transit Services Bureau ie TSB for the final 2 months. they also have their own detective unit and a few special teams.

        the problem is two fold. About 80% percent of the Deputies working the jails don't want to go to patrol. many of them have 6 plus years if not 10 years on and never have been to patrol. many new deputies don't want to go out either. so that in itself has a problem. the department thought the dual track would solveany issues it hasnt. it has forced several stations to mandatory overtime of about 4 spots a month. TSB has to work 8 spots. and that's all 8hrs each. there are many guys works 16hrs at least 2x a week.

        the other problem is the fact Metro has expanded the lines. it's hard to fill. an article from the union said LAPD will staff the positions with overtime. that's nuts . here's the article;
        Metro Staff Bid Recommendations for Transit Policing Shows Operational Ignorance
        The long-awaited Metro staff recommendations for the Transit Policing services for LA County's transit stations and rail and bus lines was presented to Metro Board members at two separate Board committees today. Metro public safety staff has officially recommended that funding under the new contract period starting January 1, 2017, be awarded 70% to the LAPD, 25% to the LASD and 5% to the Long Beach PD.

        Metro public safety staff neglected to name a lead policing agency in their recommendations. However, at the Metro Board committee hearings Thursday, November 16th, Metro CEO Phil Washington indicated that his Metro public safety staff would have authority and oversight of all three policing agencies. This arrangement revives many of the operational problems that plagued the former RTD Police Department. Likewise, since the recommendations fail to provide guidance on which of the three policing agencies would have day-to-day lead authority, the arrangement is destined to cause confusion about which agency should respond to incidents at jurisdictional borders or crisis management of a major in-progress event.

        Many more operational problems are inherent in the Metro public safety staff recommendations, including:
        • Resources are divided unevenly: Metro public safety staff divided the resources to the three police agencies by the number of daily train and bus boardings, which focuses an enormous amount of funding in downtown Los Angeles and consequently to LAPD for their portion of the police services. A more accurate method of dividing resources to reflect actual costs of policing would have been to add up miles traveled by trains and buses, and then dividing the resources among the three agencies. Dividing resources by passenger boardings leaves the Sheriff's Department with more bus/rail miles to police and far less resources.
        • LAPD plans to fill all its transit policing shifts with overtime: Metro public safety staff accepted a bid from the LAPD which relies 100% on overtime to deploy officers to fill Metro policing positions. At today's committee hearings, LAPD officials promised there would be systems in place to manage the amount of overtime worked, systems in place to make sure all positions are covered. Neither of those systems are in place now. By contrast, LASD has dedicated transit trained deputy sheriffs assigned to TPD to reduce the need for overtime officers filling positions. It was the priority of Metro Board members only a short time ago that overtime be reduced or eliminated to make sure that officers were trained and familiar with transit policing responsibilities.
        • Confusion at the jurisdictional borders and moving crime scenes: Metro public safety staff recommendations indicate that deployment of the three-agency arrangement will be facilitated by placing dispatchers from all three agencies in one location. What the recommendation does not provide is any guidance as to how those dispatchers will direct emergency response to incidents that are either on the border of jurisdictions or suspects that are moving between jurisdictions on a train or a bus. Additionally, follow-up with victims, witness and suspects would potentially be divided geographically, to different agencies - generating even more confusion.
        • Metro public safety staff conflicts with their own Inspector General to recommend a three-agency arrangement: An April 2015 report from the Metro's own Inspector General opposed a multi-agency approach and supported a single agency to lead transit policing services. "With an appropriate deployment and community policing strategy and operational strategies for buses and rail in place, the current model of a single law enforcement agency being supplemented by Metro security staff seems to be the most viable option to provide security for LA Metro. Financial considerations notwithstanding, it would appear to be the most effective strategy as the system continues to expand."
        A "one-lead-agency" plan was strongly supported at today's hearings by Sheriff McDonnell and representatives from ALADS. Both committees referred the issue to the full Metro Board of Directors for their next hearing on December 1st.

        Meto thinks by adding 3 different departments it will magically fix the problems. I only see adding more
        I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

        It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.


        • #5
          Moparfan, I agree 100%. Metro's plan is going to fail, unfortunately probably in spectacular fashion.

          Santa Clara County's Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is picking up a BART contract. So the Sheriff's Transit Patrol is growing. We are only responsible for the parking lot, and the station interior. The Platform, train and right of way are all BART.

          Whoever thought dividing up police services should be fired. Unequal service between LASO, LAPD, and LBPD is going to result in federal lawsuits.
          semper destravit


          • #6
            I don't see why Metro just does not reform their police department again. they would have way better control and accountability without dealing with the political BULL of two different city governments let alone the county. nor the bs of the three departments. I dont understand how one of the largest business and rail systems does.not have its own police department
            I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

            It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.


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