CTA to install more cameras in stations

June 21, 2011 4:52:23 AM PDT
Thousands of new security cameras are coming to El stops.

The action comes after a rash of thefts and crimes at CTA stations. Most of the stations have one camera, but by the end of the year that number will skyrocket.

"We will saturate our system with cameras so that potential criminal activity is recorded where it occurs," said Forrest Claypool, CTA president.

By the end of the year, the CTA will use $16 million in federal money to deploy the cameras.

"Cameras might help catch people, but I doubt it will deter anybody," said Toni Husbands, commuter.

"I like the effort to make it safer," said commuter Randy Cummings.

"I think it is a great idea. You never know what is going to happen on the CTA. It is better for more eyes to be out there," said commuter Ashley Beirne.

The CTA said cameras led to the arrests of 13 this year and 69 last year. Claypool says a saturation of cameras would have helped when a woman died after she was pushed down the stairs by a robber at the Fullerton Red Line stop.

"Once these cameras are in place, we have a 99 percent probability of capturing any such incident, such as that unfortunate incident at the Fullerton station," said Claypool.

Each train station will have ten to 30 cameras, but cameras will not be installed in the existing train cars. Newly purchased train cars, though, will be camera ready.

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