In the wake of recent Metro assaults, robberies, and shootings, D.C. Metro officials said the system will have an increase of police patrols onboard vehicles and within the rail stations. However, some Metro riders are skeptical of whether the additional security will cover all neighborhoods.
“Are they going to add more officers just at Minnesota Avenue subway station or at all the subway stations?” resident Kevell Cooper, 31, said to the AFRO Feb.27. She said most crime happens at Addison Road, Anacostia, Deanwood, and Minnesota Avenue stations, but there aren’t enough officers to cover all of those areas at once.
Cooper rides the metro bus and train every day with her four children and says it is unsafe for everyone. “Metro is wasting their time installing all of these cameras and putting money everywhere else, instead of where it needs to be,” she said. Cooper said more money should be allocated toward hiring more Metro Transit Police.
The department’s security operations center uses thousands of cameras to monitor train and bus activity. The cameras can bring up videos in real time, which assisted police in capturing the suspects involved in the Feb.23 Metro incident, in which two teenagers are accused of shooting a man while robbing him, a spokesperson for Metro said.
Cameras caught the suspects, but did not prevent the incident from happening. Metro announced on Feb.25 that they are taking additional measures to better utilize patrol officers and respond to crime trends.
According to a press release, 17 patrol officers will be moved to patrolling stations, and an outside security service will now be responsible for revenue protection. There will also be a “power hour” on selected days allowing officers to use overtime to overlap the department’s day and evening shifts.
“During after school hours and the early part of rush hour we will have a surge of officers on duty on the trains, on buses, and at the stations,” said Dan Stessel, spokesperson for Metro.
Stessel told the AFRO Feb.26 that there will be double the amount of officers on duty for a period of time varying from two to three hours during the preselected “power hours.” Stessel said the placement of the additional protection may change every week.
“We enhance patrol based off of crime trends.” He explained Metro uses a CompStat model of policing that is data driven. “We deploy officers to places with higher crime.” So if there is an uptick of a certain type of crime activity in a particular area, then patrol will be increased in that location specifically, he added.