Metro to Hire 17 additional Special Police Officers “to help reduce the possibility of theft or vandalism”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

I’m just curious – where do you feel more safe – on the bus or on the subway or equally safe on both? From a WMATA press release:

The new Special Police Officers will be assigned to Metrobus facilities in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to help reduce the possibility of theft or vandalism of Metro property. The increased security force will enable the Metro Transit Police Department to provide around-the-clock coverage at all Metrobus facilities without incurring overtime costs.

“Adding officers and continuing our K9 force, will allow Metro to continue its all important work of minimizing its security risks and preventing unsafe situations at its facilities,” said Mortimer Downey, who chairs Metro’s Safety and Security Committee. “By enhancing security at our facilities, we are providing additional safety for our customers and employees.”

Metro’s Finance and Administration Committee endorsed the plan to hire 17 additional Special Police Officers to increase security staffing of bus divisions and amend the operations budget to include the $900,000 annual cost.

Metro currently has 132 Special Police Officers on staff, providing security and access control at Metro’s bus facilities, rail yards and other Metro-owned or operated buildings.

13 Comment

  • I totally feel safer on the bus (though maybe not so much at bus stops).

  • So if my math is correct, $900,000/17=$52,941. Are you telling me that Special Police Officers are only paid $52,947 in salary and benefits annually? Yet bus drivers and train operators are making over $100k?

    What sense does that make?

    • Makes sense to me. Driving a bus or operating a train requires special training and skills. You can hire any old thug off the street to sit in a security booth, but I certainly wouldn’t want that same guy driving a bus full of people.

    • how much should security guards at a bus depot make vs. people who are responsible for operating complicated transportation machinery and dozens or hundreds of lives?

    • So wait… no I’m just confused. Will these “Special Police Officers” be a part of the MTPD (i.e. carrying guns, having the ability to arrest folks, etc.) or are they just glorified security guards?

  • I feel safer on the bus because it’s never isolate. Even if it’s just me and some weirdo on the bus, I can always go sit by the driver. But I have had some sketchy experiences waiting for buses where the stop are in front of abandoned buildings etc. So I guess I feel safer waiting for a metro.

  • um, these are security guards who will patrol the bus depots, not provide security on buses. read the press release again…

  • Definitely safer on the bus than on trains, but also safer in train stations than bus stops.

  • Just goes to show you that the people that commit crime sure do cost the law abiding people a whole lot of money. This would not even be necessary if it weren’t for a small group of people fighting and such on the trains.

    Police are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Once people have them, they never want to let them go. Get ready for higher transit fares. Luckily the people that cause such mischief won’t even have to pay their fair share.

  • Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to electrify the fences around the bus lots? For a lot less than $900K you could put a lot of volts through them lil’ scamps.

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