Chicago’s Metra customers can now use the new Metra COPS app to quickly and discretely report crimes, suspicious activity, and other safety or security concerns to Metra Police from a train or station.
The free app is available for Apple users in the App Store and Android users in Google Play.
“This new channel of communication helps us enhance the safety and security of our entire system,” said Metra Police Chief Joseph Perez. “We always ask our customers and employees to remain vigilant and to say something if they see something. Using this app can be a more convenient way to do that than making a phone call.”
The app is meant for the reporting of safety and security issues on Metra trains and facilities, such as a crime in progress, disruptive or aggressive behavior, suspicious activity, unattended bags or packages, vandalism, panhandling, fare evasion, or other concerns. Customers are asked to not use the app for customer service issues, service disruptions, or travel information.
The app enables customers to send a description along with a photo and/or video of the issue being reported. The app automatically disables the user’s smartphone flash to ensure discretion, and reports can be made anonymously.
Metra Police dispatchers can respond to the customer through the app, send out advisories, and broadcast “Be on the Lookout” alerts to app users.
The Metra Board of Directors in December approved a five-year, $274,000 contract with ELERTS Corporation to provide Metra with an incident reporting system for smartphones. The Massachusetts-based firm was the sole responsive bidder for the contracted work, which is being funded entirely by the FEMA Transit Security Grant Program.