February 22, 2012

DART increasing rail security

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is adding a uniformed security presence on every train with a combination of police, fare enforcement officers and armed security guards.

The commitment includes 140 personnel. This was done by adjusting staff assignments and the use of overtime and security guards. DART has used armed security guards for several years in a variety of capacities. No end date has been established for this new initiative.

DART operates up to 42 trains, in sets of two or three railcars, during its peak service. The uniformed staff will be on the vehicles during regular operating hours.

This is the latest in a series of steps taken by the agency to increase the visibility of police and other uniformed security staff following some recent incidents that have happened on agency property. These actions include sweeps of stations by DART Police and stepped up enforcement of the agency's Code of Conduct in an effort to maintain system safety and the passenger's sense of security. While DART has long enjoyed excellent working relationships with law enforcement agencies within its service area, the agency and those agencies are exploring ways to enhance that cooperation. DART already participates on a number of joint security and safety efforts with those agencies.

Additionally, DART continues adding closed circuit cameras at all light rail stations. That project is scheduled for completion in March. The agency will begin a pilot program for cameras on trains later this year. The new bus fleet, scheduled to be put in service later this year, will also feature vehicles with cameras. Also this spring customers will be able to send text messages to DART Police to report suspicious behavior.

 

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