New Metro Transit crime data shows increase, community groups want to help
Metro Transit Officials, including the new police chief, briefed the Metropolitan Council Wednesday about their safety and security plan, with a goal to improve conditions on public transportation.
New Metro Transit crime data shows a nearly 66% increase in crime from the first three months of this year compared to quarter one of last year. The data shows an increase from 817 crimes in Quarter 1 of 2022 to 1,352 in the first three months of this year.
The increase in Group A crime is based on an increase in drug/narcotics and drug equipment violations, which account for 38% of that crime category, according to Metro Transit.
Metro Transit Police said they are trying to hire more officers, increase fare checks, and add extra security to stations.
“It’s scary, and I have my kids, and other kids I mentor in the community, that often say they don’t often go places because they are scared to go on public transportation,” said Miki Frost.
Frost, a St. Paul youth mentor, is working with the Twin Cities Men’s Movement to help find and organize volunteers that plan to begin riding the light rail in the next month.
Organizers said they hope to improve safety and help those in need connect to resources for addition, housing, and employment.
“Life can be hard. While you are riding this, try to give you some resources to help you change your life,” Frost said. “Reaching in with a sense of love, a sense of care and hope.”
Frost will be joined in the project by his sister, Tonya Frost, from the Twin Cities Women’s Movement.
“It’s reaching out to better our community,” said Tonya Frost about this new volunteer effort.
She said the volunteers’ presence on the light rail would also help other passengers feel safe by discouraging possible problems from developing.
“Finding them a peaceful way for them to get to where they need to go, that presence will be able to hold it down,” Tonya Frost said.
“The behavior that is leaving our customers and employees to feel unsafe, the smoking, the drinking, the other violations of the code of conduct, that we’ve really been focused on those,” said Lesley Kandaras, Metro Transit Interim General Manager is a focus.