District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metro GM/CEO Randy Clarke announced a new partnership between the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to enhance public safety and security on the transit system.
The partnership will increase police presence and MPD will be the first partner, according to WMATA's news release.
“We know that residents and visitors want to see a strong police presence in our community, and that’s what this partnership will allow us to provide,” said Bowser. “When police are in the community, people feel safer and our officers can respond faster. Hundreds of thousands of people use Metro every day to move around D.C., and now, they can expect to see more MPD officers out during their commutes.”
Beginning next week and continuing through June, MTPD officers will partner on patrols at stations and transit centers with police officers working on assignment from MPD, beginning with five stations within Washington, D.C.
“We appreciate Mayor Bowser’s leadership as our police departments work collaboratively to make our community safer,” said Clarke. “This partnership will allow transit police to ride more buses and trains.”
Two officers per station will conduct joint patrols to increase police visibility and response time, especially during rush hours. The first patrols, based on crime data, will be deployed at Metro Center, Gallery Place, Georgia Ave-Petworth, Congress Heights, and Union Station.
Metro will fund the extra patrols and expects to finalize agreements with additional police departments in other jurisdictions served by Metro, which will increase patrols at rail stations and on bus routes throughout the system by as much as 60%
“The safety of our community, whether on the street or in our transportation system, is a priority for MPD,” said chief Robert J. Contee, III of the MPD. “We know that healthy law enforcement partnerships within the District are an effective tool for public safety. This partnership between MTPD and MPD will allow us to work better together and ensure the safety of the residents and visitors in the District.”
In addition to increased safety measures, Metro said it continues to “Work Differently” through proactive community engagement initiatives.
MTPD expanded its “problem-solving police strategy” by hiring crisis intervention specialists who are trained to address mental health crises and increasing officers’ presence on Metrobus and Metrorail under Operation “Helping Hands.” The model focuses on addressing the root cause of an issue and providing ways to address it. Police visibility, enforcement activities, and enhanced community relations programs are crime-reduction strategies to make Metro safer.