As part of its strategy on enhancing security and rider experience on the transit system, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors approved a contract to nearly double the amount of contract security officers to deter crime and disorder on the bus and rail system.

The contract award of nearly $82 million to RMI International Inc. will be effective Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. Metro’s security staffing plan is multi-layered and comprised of Metro security officers, private sector security officers and state certified law enforcement professionals.

Under the approved proposal, additional staff will be assigned to key hubs, rail stations and parking facilities in addition to safeguarding critical infrastructure. The high-visibility presence augments video surveillance and, in some cases, will patrol 24/7.

“Our security officers serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement, patrol key areas, and notify law enforcement when required,” said Alex Wiggins, Metro chief systems, security and law enforcement officer.

Wiggins reported that additional security is necessary to support ridership growth, improve rider retention, improve perception of safety by riders and employees, and provide additional resources to first responders.