Metro Transit seeks $1.3M for high-resolution light rail security cameras

Updated: January 16, 2020 10:18 PM

Metro Transit wants to spend $1.3 million for upgraded, high-resolution light rail transit security cameras that police can watch live to help respond to crimes quicker and make light rail cars safer for customers.

The cameras would produce video images six times greater than current security cameras, and Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the quality of the video would help law enforcement identify suspects and give officers a 360-degree view of the entire LRT car.


"This is like adding a police force multiplier," Padilla said. "When someone notifies us of a possible problem on an LRT car, the officers can watch it in real-time and dispatch people quicker to the specific car and scene of the problem."

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Padilla said the new high-resolution cameras would be installed in all 91 LRT cars, and an added benefit to the quicker response times is a higher apprehension and arrest rate of suspects.

"This will undoubtedly lead to more arrests, and that is a good thing," Padilla said. "The vast majority of LRT customers are law-abiding, but if we can hold people accountable when they make bad decisions, we will do it."

Metro Transit records showed aggravated assaults have more than tripled in the past five years, and these new cameras, if approved, are designed to help reverse that trend.If the Metropolitan Council approves the plan in the coming weeks, Metro Transit intends to start installing the cameras right away. Padilla said the goal is to have them in every LRT car "by the end of the year."

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Jay Kolls

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