Chicago police meet with CTA in wake of recent violent crimes, including Red Line stabbing and Blue Line shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police met with CTA officials Friday morning to focus on how to make it safer for riders and step up patrols.

Chicago Police Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck said there will be a new face for crime deterrence on the CTA, adding police and deploying them in the right places are part of the new plan to make riders on the CTA feel safer.

"What we wanna do is put more of a presence not only on the platforms but riding the trains themselves," Beck said.

Just this week a man was stabbed while performing on a Red Line platform, and another was shot during a robbery on a Blue Line train.

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Looking at just the month of January over the last five years, CTA crime has spiked the last two. Year to year, January violent crimes are way up; battery has increased 24% and assault has increased 22%.

Beck knows the stats and wanted to put them in context.

"It is safe for public transportation compared to some other major cities but it certainly is not safe enough," Beck said.

Beck said he plans to look at other cities to see what could be implemented here in Chicago to make riders feel safer taking public transportation.

"There's a bunch of models all over the U.S. on how to police transportation systems, and we'll steal a little bit from some of those and give Chicago the transportation system it deserves," he said.

City of Chicago records show there have been nearly 6,200 reports of robberies or attempted robberies on the CTA in the last 10 years. Of those, there were arrests in 835 cases. Chicago police hope to change that.

Beck wants to change that, saying the CTA does have some strong points including its surveillance camera system that helped track down a convicted felon this week who allegedly shot and robbed a man on the Blue Line.

RELATED: CTA Blue Line shooting suspect charged after man wounded on train near UIC-Halsted station: Chicago police

But the cameras only help track suspects after the crime. Beck hopes to prevent it in the first place and respond quicker in the moment.


"The safety and security of the Chicago Transit system is one of the highest operational priorities for the Chicago Police Department.

"Each and every day, uniformed and plainclothes Chicago Police officers patrol the system and team up with additional private security and investigative resources to respond to and investigate crime. Furthermore, infrastructure investments to outfit platforms and trains with high definition camera technology have acted as a force multiplier as it assists detectives with crucial digital evidence when a crime occurs.

"To build on this effort, the Department held a safety coordination meeting with CTA to discuss options for enhanced strategies to deter and combat crimes, including making any adjustments to Transit deployments where necessary."
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