Metro adds ‘undercover riders’ to increase security on trains, buses

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by Lindsey Bramson / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 4 at 9:56 PM

(KMOV) -- The next time you ride MetroLink, that passenger next to you could be an undercover officer. Metro has increased security at many of its stations focusing on "hot spots.”

The tactic is already showing progress. It's putting criminals behind bars; some wanted for some pretty serious crimes.

Right now, the Forest Park-DeBaliviere station here has been a focus for police for the last several months. Undercover officers are breaking up drug deals and catching people with illegal weapons.

Richard Zott is the Head of Security for Metro. He says, “we had a number of complaints from customers that people were loitering in the area, some drug dealing going on, people selling drugs and also people harassing patrons."

Just two days ago, officers arrested two men who they say looked suspicious. “When we contacted them we ran them for wants and warrants and they had active arrest warrants so we arrested them,” says Zott.

He says criminals are bold; some caught hiding weapons in the newsstands.
Not only are undercover officers riding trains and buses but they're walking platforms.

Cameras have also recently been installed on sides of nearby buildings. Officers have already made more than a dozen arrests just at this one stop.

Some nearby residents say at night and on the weekends, it can be scary. "And that’s one thing these kids do. They don’t have any respect for people.  The language and the level of language is awful and sometimes out of hand,” says city resident Anthony Ellerson.

Metro officials will continue to work with St. Louis city police on this. They'll follow crime trends and move the officers as needed.
 

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