Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown, and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter Jr. announced new measures designed to improve public safety and security for Chicago commuters.
To enhance safety on CTA’s Red and Blue Lines, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is strategically adjusting resources from within the Bureau of Counterterrorism to better address shifts in crime patterns. Officers will be divided into teams that are an extension of CPD’s overall effort to address and reduce violence in Chicago. CPD and CTA will continually collaborate to analyze crime patterns, which will in turn determine optimal deployment strategies.
These dedicated teams will focus on gang and narcotics crimes on the transit system, as well as patrolling the busy rail lines. In addition, CTA will further promote safety and comfort during commutes by expanding its use of contracted security guards. CTA and CPD will also continue to collaborate to identify and address areas experiencing higher occurrences of crime.
The Chicago Transit Board approved two new contracts for the use of unarmed private security guards, which have been a component of CTA’s daily operations for more than two decades. The unarmed, uniformed security guards will continue to patrol stations across the system but will now also have dedicated deployments traveling on both buses and trains.
“The expansion of security guards on trains and buses, and in stations, is just one part of our ongoing, comprehensive efforts to provide the most comfortable, safest commuting experience for customers,” said CTA President Carter. “Having a visible presence of guards is an important deterrent to misbehavior and also helps demonstrate our commitment to addressing our riders’ concerns.”
The security guards will focus on a wide variety of customer engagements, including enforcing CTA’s Rules of Conduct, which prohibits activity such as smoking, taking up more than one seat, playing loud music, or harassing and bullying other customers.
The guards will also have conflict resolution and de-escalation training, to help address situations with productive verbal interactions. Guards will also receive training about CTA operations, so that they can assist riders with general questions about service.
The new CTA security guards will now be deployed seven days a week — up from five days — with expanded coverage during evenings, overnights, and on weekends.