TriMet and Transit Police make strides to deter crime: reported crime down more than 25 percent

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Increased patrols, new partnerships, key investments bring crime down

Reported crime is dropping on TriMet as the agency and Transit Police use new strategies and increased efforts to provide security for riders and our employees. Preliminary statistics for 2013 show reported crime dropping more than 25 percent over 2012. The 2013 reported crime statistics will be finalized in late April and released in May, but today TriMet Executive Director of Safety and Security Harry Saporta gave the TriMet board of directors a preview of the 2013 statistics. Reported crimes dropped 27 percent on the rail system and 24 percent on the bus system.

“While the numbers are still preliminary, we are seeing reported crimes across the system dropping as we make strides in increasing security for both riders and employees,” said Saporta. “We’ve increased patrols on the system, developed important new partnerships, made key investments in our security system and re-evaluated how to maximize our deployment of Transit Police officers. We will keep reviewing the data to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.”

Preliminary 2013 reported crime statistics

The preliminary 2013 figures show 649 reported crimes with 97.6 million trips provided. That’s a drop of 230 crimes. The majority of the reported crimes were against property, not against persons.

On the rail system, the figures declined by 156 and on the bus system they dropped by 74. The decrease in reported crime was greater than the drop in ridership between 2012 and 2013. Overall reported crime decreased more than 25 percent while ridership was down 4 percent.

 

2012

2013

Change

Systemwide

879

649

-230

Rail

575

419

-156

Bus

304

230

-74

MAX/WES systems

Reported crimes appear to have dropped on nearly all MAX lines from year to year, with the only exception being a portion of the Green Line, from SE Main St to Clackamas Town Center stations. The increase from year to year is a total of five crimes, from 48 in 2012 to 53 in 2013, and the increases were recorded at the SE Main St, SE Holgate Blvd, Lents Town Center/SE Foster and SE Flavel St stations, areas where crime also increased in the surrounding communities.

Separating WES Commuter Rail from the MAX system, WES saw a drop in reported crimes going from one crime in 2012 to zero in 2013.

TriMet’s comprehensive, community police approach

TriMet uses a comprehensive and regional approach to enhance safety and security on the system. By partnering with local police and sheriff’s agencies, we’ve created a community policing effort. Each agency assigns officers to terms serving on the Transit Police Division. The partnership also means all officers – those assigned to transit and the agencies’ other officers – respond to incidents on and around our buses and trains.

Transit Police officers provide a daily visible presence, spending at least 70 percent of their time patrolling the transit system, conducting missions and enforcing TriMet Code. They work out of four precincts to more efficiently patrol dedicated segments of system. Officers patrol the system – on location and inside TriMet vehicles – in both uniform and plainclothes.

TriMet supervisors and contracted security officers also help keep the system safe by enforcing TriMet Code. Our 75 supervisors and fare inspectors enforce all aspects of TriMet Code including fare requirements and nuisance behavior such as disruptive conduct, smoking, harassment and more. Violating the code can lead to citations, exclusions from the system and even arrest.

“We are dedicated to making the TriMet system as safe as we possibly can and we will continue to look at trends and opportunities, and make adjustments where needed to provide a safe system for everyone,” said Saporta.