TriMet Board of Directors authorizes contract with PPI for unarmed transit peace officers
TriMet plans to contract with Portland Patrol Inc. (PPI) to add transit peace officers who will provide an increased security presence for riders on the transit system while enforcing TriMet Code, including fare requirements. The TriMet Board of Directors authorized a contract that will bring unarmed PPI personnel to TriMet. The new transit peace officers will be deployed by the Transit Police Commander. In addition to providing a visible security presence and conducting code enforcement, the PPI officers will assist riders by providing information about the rules for riding TriMet and promoting safety around buses and trains.
Through the partnership, PPI will assign personnel to TriMet who are current or former peace officers, as defined under ORS 133.005, or military police officers recently discharged. Under ORS 133.005, peace officers include police officers, deputy sheriffs, constables, Federal officers and agents, reserve officers, investigators of the Criminal Justice Division, humane special agents, judicial marshals and regulatory special agents. TriMet will phase in the PPI transit peace officers with the initial officers starting as soon as PPI can hire and/or train them. Within the first year of the contract, we aim to bring on 30 officers and then increase that to approximately 50 to 60 officers within two years. Our security division may adjust the numbers as the program develops.
The contract with PPI will run through Fiscal Year 2020 (June 30, 2020). TriMet will evaluate the success of the program and determine whether to continue the partnership with PPI. The estimated fully burdened costs of the PPI transit peace officers over the 3-year contract is $7.63 million.
PPI has unique, established partnership with police
TriMet chose to contract with PPI because agency leaders believe the organization is uniquely qualified to perform the security and code enforcement services our riders want and TriMet needs for a more unified approach to transit security. PPI and its leadership are closely coordinated with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), of which the Transit Police is a division. PPI participates in the Commander’s Roundtable, which is a monthly problem-solving meeting with PPB to discuss safety and security issues, PPB missions and coordination to maximize and support security efforts. PPI also has a close working relationship with the Multnomah County District Attorney, social service organizations and others as PPI provides safety and security services throughout Portland. PPI supplies personnel for the Portland Mall Management Inc., providing security presence along the Transit Mall on 5th and 6th avenues as well as along the MAX tracks on 1st avenue, Morrison and Yamhill streets. It is part of the Downtown Clean and Safe Program and provides security services for Portland Streetcar and Portland Smart Park, among others.
TriMet’s unified approach to security
TriMet takes a unified approach to providing a safe system for our riders.
- TriMet has a dedicated Transit Police Division, managed by the Portland Police Bureau, with police officers from local law enforcement agencies assigned to the unit. They provide daily presence on the system and enforce TriMet Code.
- Other officers from the local law enforcement agencies respond to serious incidents reported on the transit system if they are the closest available police unit. Transit Police officers work closely with their partner law enforcement officers including conducting joint missions and security surges.
Unarmed security personnel
- TriMet contracts with G4S Secure Solutions Inc. for unarmed security officers. These security personnel patrol the system, providing a security presence. They do not enforce TriMet Code and they are not armed. These security officers call for police when needed. TriMet has 35 G4S officers on contract currently and is working to expand that number.
- The PPI transit peace officers added in the coming months and years will patrol the system, providing more security presence for riders. They will enforce TriMet Code, including checking fares. As they will not carry guns, they will call police if a serious incident should occur.
TriMet field staff
- TriMet supervisors and code enforcement staff are on the system enforcing the TriMet Code, including checking fares. They assist riders and employees. Our staff is not armed and will call police if a serious incident should occur.
- TriMet operators provide eyes and ears throughout the system. They quickly contact TriMet’s Operations Command Center if a security or safety incident arises, or for rider emergencies. Our Command Center staff has a direct line to 9-1-1, which dispatches police to incidents.