February 16, 2010

King County steps up tunnel security

At the direction of King County Executive Dow Constantine, Metro Transit and the King County Sheriff's Office are taking steps to beef up the presence of uniformed and armed police officers in the Downtown Seattle Bus Tunnel following the recent assault and robbery of a teenage girl on a bus tunnel platform at Westlake Station on January 28.

Metro and the Sheriff's Office will assign at least one deputy to each of Metro's five tunnel stations during operating hours. While deputies routinely patrol the tunnel now, this move increases overall staffing and raises the police presence at each station. This presence of commissioned police officers will serve as an adjunct to other security assets in the tunnel, which include video surveillance and unarmed security guards who are under contract with Metro, according to the groups involved.

Constantine ordered swift action to be taken as part of his commitment to public safety, while Metro continues a full review of all operating polices that govern its contract with civilian security guards.

Police security on the system had been stepped up in the tunnel with the coming of the Olympics and in response to the recent assault; however, the new increase in security will raise the profile of law enforcement officers at all Metro tunnel stations until Metro completes its security review.

 

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