Transit Police strategies, key partnerships and security tools increasing safety on TriMet system

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Reported crime down 25 percent system wide

TriMet and its Transit Police Division use community policing to reduce and discourage crime on the transit system. Key partnerships and a neighborhood approach to crime prevention, along with Transit Police strategies and TriMet security tools, will make our system even safer for our riders and employees. This includes using our reported crime statistics for 2013 to give us added direction for our security efforts. Today the agency is releasing its finalized 2013 reported crime statistics, and as the preliminary figures indicated, the final figures show reported crime down more than 25 percent system wide. To riders and employees, what does that mean?

Mode

2012

2013

Change

System

879

648

-231

Rail

575

418

-157

Bus

304

230

-74

Bus: One reported crime in every 255,000 rides
On TriMet buses, there was one reported crime in every 255,000 trips in 2013. Reported crime dropped 24 percent from 304 in 2012 to 230 last year.

MAX: One reported crime in every 91,378 rides
On MAX, there was one reported crime in every 91,378 trips taken. Reported crimes on the MAX dropped by 27 percent to 419 in 2013 from 574 the previous year. Most of the incidents involved property crimes such as theft.

WES: Zero reported crimes in 476,870 rides
WES Commuter Rail had no reported crimes last year, and only one the year before.

Criminal activity on transit mirrors surrounding communities

To help us in our security strategies, we group incidents by either bus line or, on the MAX system, by geographical segment.

MAX segment

2012

2013

Change

Gresham

61

40

 ↓34%

Eastside

161

109

↓32%

Lloyd District

54

35

↓35%

Downtown

82

66

↓20%

Beaverton

57

49

↓14%

Hillsboro

47

26

↓45%

Red Line
(Parkrose TC – PDX)

21

14

↓33%

Yellow Line
(Interstate/Rose Qtr  – Expo)

43

27

↓37%

Green Line
(Clackamas TC to Main St)

48

52

↑08 %

MAX system
Eight of the nine MAX segments saw drops in reported crime, and most of those were significant drops. The changes mirror the fluctuations in reported crimes in the surrounding communities.

Our Transit Police officers increased their presence on the system on the Westside and that appears to be paying off. The segment with the biggest percentage drop was in Hillsboro where reported crimes on the MAX system dropped 45 percent, with just one incident per every 359,000 trips. We also installed security cameras on the platforms of six MAX stations in Hillsboro during 2013, which act as a deterrent to those looking to do wrong. The city of Hillsboro saw overall crime drop as well.

The Green Line segment from Clackamas Town Center to SE Main St was the only segment where reported crimes increased, from 48 in 2012 to 52 in 2013, an eight percent increase. The Clackamas Town Center Transit Center, SE Fuller Rd and two other stations saw crimes drop or remain flat. The four other stations – SE Flavel St, Lents Town Center/SE Foster Rd, SE Holgate Blvd and SE Main St stations saw increases, which mirrors increases in crime in the surrounding neighborhoods.

View the 2013 MAX reported crime statistics by location

“TriMet and our Transit Police Division work closely with the police agencies in the jurisdictions that we serve,” said TriMet Executive Director of Safety and Security Harry Saporta. “This broader community-wide approach increases safety and security not only on our transit system, but in our neighborhoods and on our streets.”

Bus system

Bus line Crimes Crimes per ride Ridership
Line 72

44

1 per 114,979 rides 5,059,100
Line 4

28

1 per 187,861 rides 5,260,110
Line 75

18

1 per 179,438 rides 3,229,900

TriMet documents reported crime by bus line to determine where issues are arising. Of TriMet’s 79 bus lines, only about half had any crimes reported on board in 2013. Only 9 of those that saw reported crimes had more than 10 crimes reported. Transit Police officers have always patrolled bus routes, but in 2013 police officers began a more strategic effort, riding on board buses in both uniform and plainclothes. Transit Police officers also conduct Operation Bus Safe missions – random, unannounced patrols of buses to add a presence on the bus system.

View the 2013 bus reported crime statistics by line

Neighborhood involvement locations

Transit Police officers are working closely with the Portland Police Bureau to identify locations for change. Portland Police Bureau analysts identify livability issues and crime activities in the neighborhoods served by transit that could migrate onto the system. Transit Police officers, in turn, forward information on issues or trends near or on the TriMet system. “Working together with our police partners, riders and community members, the goal is to provide information and encourage changes in attitudes and behaviors,” said Transit Police Commander Kevin Modica. “It is this type of collaboration that benefits the community of interest – TriMet riders and employees – as well as the geographic community.”

View 2013 reported crimes by category