District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke announced a new partnership between the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) and the DC 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.
“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 Mayor 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 DC, 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, DC.
“We appreciate Mayor Bowser’s leadership as our police departments work collaboratively to make our community safer,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Clarke. “This partnership will allow transit police to ride more buses and trains.”
“In recent months MTPD has increased patrols 30 percent at the busiest times, hired crisis intervention specialists, and bolstered our camera network to better fight crime, and this new partnership will further enhance our ability to keep customers safe,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo. “This collaborative approach will allow us to better protect the community and increase our visibility on trains and buses, and we look forward to working alongside MPD and other local law enforcement partners.”
“The safety of our community, whether on the street or in our transportation system, is priority for MPD,” said Chief Robert J. Contee, III of the Metropolitan Police Department. “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.”
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 percent.
In addition to increased safety measures, Metro 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 crisis 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.
Earlier this year, MTPD also equipped officers and crisis intervention specialists with Naloxone (Narcan) to aid in the prevention of opioid overdoses. And, last year, MTPD implemented several initiatives to reduce crime in the Metro system including the Metro fare evasion warning campaign.
Read more at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority