'A safer Chicago': Lightfoot, police announce boosted security presence on CTA
CHICAGO - Chicago officials unveiled a plan Wednesday to increase security on the CTA, after recent violent incidents near train stations and platforms.
The Chicago Police Department says they will deploy officers on the CTA Red and Blue lines based on crime patterns. Officers will be divided into teams.
"Violence on our transit system must end, as people shouldn't have to fear for their lives when they're commuting around our city. This partnership between CTA and CPD will help to protect them and contribute greatly to our citywide mission to create a safer Chicago," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.
The teams of officers — who will patrol busy rail lines — will focus on crimes involving gangs and narcotics.
"A safe CTA is an integral part of building a safer Chicago," Police Superintendent David Brown said in a statement. "This collaboration between the Chicago Police Department and CTA demonstrates to all residents that we’re making every effort and using every resource. Whether residents are headed to work or school, a sporting event or the museum, every rider should feel safe."
The CTA also announced they will be expanding their use of contracted security guards, who are both unarmed and unidentifiable. They will patrol trains and buses.
The guards are trained to deescalate conflicts, and they can also assist riders with general questions about service. They will be deployed seven days a week, with expanded coverage during the evenings, overnights and on weekends.
The move comes as violent crime is reportedly up 17-percent on public trains and buses compared to this same time last year.
Riders that FOX 32 spoke to had mixed reaction.
"People tend to not wanna do wrong when they see the police," one person said.
"It could be reassuring for certain people, but it could also cause fear in other people," another rider said.
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On Tuesday night, there was a shooting in a train car on the South Side. A 25-year-old man got into an argument with a group of people around 8:30 p.m.
One person pulled out a gun and shot the man twice in the stomach. The victim was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.
The investigation centered around the 63rd Street station on the CTA’s Red Line.
On. Feb. 28, 16-year-old Vadarrion Knight was shot and killed when he exited the Grand Red Line station. Hours later, there were more shots fired at the same station.
Michelle Jarrell lives a block away and says the increase in crime has forced her to change her travel patterns.
"I don’t have free rein to walk around my neighborhood when I want to," Jarrell said. "I don’t walk my dog past here after dark at all. I wouldn’t come this way before it got light outside. I’m very careful. I’m street smart."