SWAT teams patrolling CTA stations amid spike in violent crime

SWAT team members are now patrolling Chicago’s transit system in full gear.

It’s part of the mayor’s plan to get a handle on the recent uptick in violent crime on the CTA. The Chicago police department tweeted out pictures Sunday showing the team on the job on Red and Blue line platforms.

 “I saw our SWAT officers deployed there in a very obvious non-threatening way. They weren’t wearing their long guns, none of that. And I think that’s a big statement from Chicago that we take this seriously,” said Interim Chicago police superintendent Charlie Beck. 

Crime on the trains just this month includes a deadly shooting in a CTA pedestrian tunnel in the Loop, stabbing of a musician on a Red line platform, the brutal beating of a 68-year-old man on a Red line train, and a robbery on the Blue line at the UIC-Halsted stop. Serious crimes on the CTA rail system doubled from 2015 to 2018.

“We’re not going to tolerate any more crime. Certainly more shootings, robberies, that’s over and we’re sending a message to the folks who think that they can get on the CTA and do whatever they want. That’s done,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Police did not say how many SWAT officers will be on the platforms, just that they will be prominent.

About 1.6 million people ride public transit in Chicago every day.

“I mean it makes sense. We've been on a train more than a few times and you know sometimes, interesting characters and it would be nice to have a little more safety on the trains,” said commuter Phil Bachelor.