How LA Metro is making an attempt to guard passengers

In response to KTLA’s investigation into the present situations on the LA Metro, KTLA acquired unique entry into their operations and what they’re doing to make it safer for passengers and staff. 

Additionally, for the primary time, we’re listening to from legislation enforcement whose job it’s to patrol and police Metro’s trains and buses. 

“There’s not sufficient of us,” mentioned L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Kari Mercer, whose job is to patrol Metro’s trains in a single day. 

We requested her straight why she thinks passengers don’t really feel secure. Her reply was succinct.

“Effectively, they’re not secure. Since you by no means understand how somebody beneath the affect goes to reply. Generally they’re violent.” 

Ambassadors confront homeless people at an LA Metro station. June 2023. (KTLA)

Deputy Mercer says she consistently responds to calls the place persons are appearing violent and erratic.

“They’re talking to themselves. They’re swinging their arms round. We get there and that individual has already struck someone,” she instructed us. 

The LA Metro is patrolled within the Metropolis of Los Angeles by the LAPD, the Sheriff’s Division and Metro’s Transit Safety Officers. 

Officer Nicholas Romero is a Transit Safety Officer assigned to patrol Metro’s Pink Line. He says they’ve acquired many complaints of individuals not feeling secure.

So, he mentioned, they’ve expanded their deployments. 

Nancy Felix oversees deploying legislation enforcement all through the whole Metro. Not too long ago, she elevated a legislation enforcement presence at Union Station due to the “giant variety of unhoused and the mentally unwell together with the drug use on their system,” she mentioned. 

LA Metro Safety
Homeless persons are seen exterior Union Station in Los Angeles, Calif. in 2023. (KTLA)

The Pink Line runs to and from Union Station and has seen a surge in violence together with two stabbings and two murders on or close to its stations. Officer Romero mentioned their focus is on the Pink Line however they’re additionally increasing to buses. 

Within the span of 1 month this yr, two Metro bus drivers have been stabbed, together with a driver in Woodland Hills over unpaid fare. In March, 23 bus and rail operators have been assaulted, in response to Metro security studies. In response, legislation enforcement is putting transit safety officers on the buses with the best variety of assaults. 

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