Chicago police add new CTA train patrols, K-9 units to return; non-violence groups offering support

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The ME ID'd a man shot and killed on a CTA Red Line train. The Chicago Police Department released a video of two suspects in the 79th Street shooting.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Commuters saw increased police presence on CTA trains Monday morning as riders are becoming more worried about increased violence.

"CTA is now becoming a transport authority for hoodlums," said CTA rider April Lawson. "My safety is a big concern, there is no doubt about that."

According to CPD crime data analyzed by the ABC7 Data Team, crime on the CTA is up 33% year-to-year to date. There were 2,064 total incidents from the beginning of the year until July 31, with 1,554 incidents over the same period last year.

More officers are being added after a murder on a Red Line train Saturday morning and police have released disturbing video showing a person being pushed onto CTA tracks by a stranger.

CPD Supt. David Brown promised over the weekend that as of Monday, there would be an additional contingent of officers assigned to the transit authority after a series of violent incidents.

"We added more resources on Sunday," Brown said during a Monday press conference. "I'm looking to add more resources before the end of the month."

Brown warned riders there are not enough resources for every train and bus.

"This is not going to be an easy task, but we are dedicated to ensuring people who ride the CTA are safe," Brown said.

The anti-violence group Violence Interrupters has offered to help the CTA and CPD by putting at least 50 of the organization's workers on the red line from 35th street station to 95th during the overnight hours, to provide more security.

"We are not trying to be the police, we are not trying to be guardian angels," said Tio Hardiman of Violence Interrupters. "My plan to is perform outreach and work with these guys that board these trains and think about committing crimes on the trains."

Caught on video: Chicago police seek suspect who shoved man onto CTA train tracks

A shooting on Saturday that left a man dead on a northbound Red Line train near 79th Street. That shooting took place inside a train car around 2 a.m.

On Sunday, police released surveillance video from the Blue Line at Damen on Friday morning that shows a man getting shoved off the platform at 7 a.m. In both cases no one has been arrested and police are looking for help from the public.

When announcing the additional resources over the weekend, Superintendent Brown refused to disclose exactly how many officers this will constitute.

RELATED: Chicago shooting: Man shot, killed on CTA Red Line train in Chatham, police say

And it is certainly not the first time this has happened this year. CPD said they have significantly increased the number of patrols on CTA over the last several months as violent crimes continue to increase even while ridership remains below pre-pandemic levels.

CTA for its part said in addition to the 250 unarmed guards that have been recently hired they will bring back the K-9 units that were disbanded three years ago. Details on when that will happen are expected to be released within the next week.

But CTA added these are only meant to be a complement to police work and can't on their own solve the safety issues the currently plague the transit agency.

"I want to assure you that we are doing everything that we can to stem these egregious acts of violence that occur on CTA properties," CTA President Dorval Carter said.

"It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Brown said of CTA violence. "No resident should think twice about their safety on any part of the CTA or in our neighborhoods."

On July 22, a man was stabbed as he fought back during an attempted robbery at North and Clybourn, while on July 25, a 15-year-old who police say was part of a group attempting to rob someone onboard a red line train near 63rd street, was killed when the would-be target pulled out a knife and stabbed him.