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June 27, 2013

L.A. Metro unveils security app

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) launched a workable smartphone app that will allow patrons to report transit-related crimes and suspicious activity that may occur throughout the system.

“A vital new component in our comprehensive effort to enhance safety for our riders and operators, this smartphone app allows the public to assist law enforcement by reporting suspicious and criminal activity in a timely manner,” said Metro Board Chair Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

The new LA Metro Transit Watch smartphone app is part of the new TransitWatchLA.org website that engages the riding public to help Los Angeles County Sherriff Department (LASD) deputies and security personnel protect employees and patrons.

“With this new smartphone app, if anyone wants to report graffiti, if an elevator or escalator is not operating correctly, or if a person needs assistance, it can be reported securely and anonymously,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy. “Metro remains committed to providing the region with safe, clean, reliable and convenient public transit service.”

The free security application is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play for iPhone and Android devices, search LA Metro Transit Watch. Once downloaded, patrons can report suspicious activity, incidents that require law enforcement’s presence and crimes that may occur on board Metro buses and trains. The user can be connected by telephone to the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center or send a photograph via email where deputies and other professional staff receive it and respond appropriately.

The new application is continuing to be modified and improved with revised versions to be provided over the next several months. Patrons should note that Wi-Fi and cell phone connection is not available inside subway tunnels, but over the next year access will become a reality on the Metro Red/Purple lines as a carrier is secured. Cell phone access is available on board all Metro buses and light rail lines including the Metro Blue, Gold, Green and Expo lines as well as on Metro buses.

As part of Metro’s ongoing safety and security campaign, this new app is an addition to many other security improvements, including the installation of surveillance cameras and the latching of turnstiles on the Red/Purple lines. Most importantly, it engages and empowers the public to take action and report suspicious behavior and crimes.

RELATED: "Apps Helping to Enhance Riders' Experience."

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