CTA Beefing Up Police, Camera Presence In Train Stations
Perhaps as a response to the ongoing publicity surrounding attacks and robberies occurring on their trains and in their stations alike, including the iPhone robbery that led to the death of a 68-year-old woman pushed down the stairs of the Fullerton Red Line stop earlier this year in addition to several recent muggings, Chicago Transit Authority announced Monday that some 1,500 multi-angle security cameras and additional police would be deployed in a plan to stymy further crime occurring in the city's rail system.
The increased police presence would by delivered via "wolfpack" teams between four and six officers that will ride trains as part of a highly visible effort to deter crimes, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The officers are being re-deployed from their school year assignments. In addition to these teams, plainclothes, undercover officers will also be in the mix to concentrate on preventing theft of electronic devices like iPads and Blackberrys, according to new CTA head Forrest Claypool.
(Watch Claypool's remarks on the new cameras and "wolfpacks" embedded below, via NBC Chicago.)
The security cameras, which will double the number of surveillance cameras currently installed in CTA train stations, are being funded through a $16 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security project. This week, 20 cameras are slated to be added to the Orange Line's Halsted station, while the Red Line's Jarvis, Morse, Bryn Mawr and Argyle stops will also be granted additional camera coverage in the days ahead.
Though additional cameras had already been coming down the pike, as the RedEye's Tracy Swartz reported, the new plan drastically expedites their installation. Claypool said the initiatives will saturate the metro system with its additional surveillance, according to NBC Chicago.
"It should send a message to would-be criminals that we’ll be watching, and using every tool at our disposal to assist the police,” he said Monday.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy also weighed in on the cameras and described them as "a critical tool in investigations" in a statement.
Watch Claypool discussing the new security measures:
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.