Metro Transit sees serious crime drop 33% over the last 6 months
Metro Transit Police Chief Ernest Morales III told the Met Council that serious crimes such as homicide, sex offenses, robberies and assaults have decreased 33% from the end of the first quarter to the end of the third quarter this year.
“And that’s something to celebrate. It’s a true effort of the men and women in the Metro Transit Police Department and I am absolutely proud of them,” said Morales. “We’re changing the paradigm, right? How they’ve always done things.”
Morales told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS part of the success his department has had over the past six months is connected to the fact he has ordered officers to get out of their squads more often and become more visible.
“We’re strategically focusing on three to four stops within the lines and having them ride back and forth between calls for service,” said Morales. “But, more importantly, we’re having them step out onto the platforms to just make contact with our passengers so that they feel safe because we’re absolutely safer in numbers.”
Public transit rider Barrett Tillman told KSTP he has noticed more officers at certain times of the day, but he still doesn’t feel entirely safe riding the light rail every day.
“It can get a little sketchy at times,” said Tillman. “Any time outside of the rush hour time it’s not feeling safe around that time. “It helps the mindset. But, there is still a concern for me as I ride the train every day. Because I know I still need to be cautious. I can’t just walk into it blindly.”
Morales also told the Met Council Committee of the Whole on Wednesday that his department is budgeted for 355 staff employees and so far, through September of this year, the department has 183 staffers.