St. Louis County Executive recommends doubling number of officer - KMOV.com

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St. Louis County Executive recommends doubling number of officers on MetroLink

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is recommending increased police presence on MetroLink trains and at stations following recent crimes.

“Members of the public need to feel confident that MetroLink trains and stations are safe,” said County Executive Stenger. “MetroLink represents a public investment of hundreds of millions of dollars but our most vital asset is the people who use it.”

The number of St. Louis County police officers would double to 44 as outlined in Stenger’s proposal for John Nations, president and CEO of Metro St. Louis Transit.

The officers would patrol on board MetroLink, light rail stations, park-and-ride lots and other associated facilities. They would also assist Metro staff in supervising security and fare enforcement personnel.

Charlie Wulf, a MetroLink rider, said, "I think it's a good idea. I think there's a lot that goes on and it's safer if there are more officers around."

Recent crimes raised concern about passenger safety. In January, authorities said riders were ducking for cover at the Clayton platform when several shots were fired. In February, surveillance video was released of suspects involved in a shooting near the North Hanley stop that left a passenger wounded.

"It's an untenable situation, we want the line to be safe, we want to improve safety on the line. I personally want to improve safety on the line and I think we have the means to do so," said County Executive Stenger.

The St. Louis County Police Department would manage and supervise these officers on MetroLink trains and stations.

Patty Smith, spokesperson for the Bi-State Development said, "We support, we wholly support the idea of doubling the number of officers, the number of St. Louis County officers on the system. The safety of our passengers is our number one priority."

Funds for the additional expense would be provided by existing revenues generated by Proposition A, which was a half-cent sales tax county voters approved in 2010 for the expansion and operation of Metro services.

The proposal for more officers has yet to be approved, but Stenger said this is a necessary security measure for the safety of the Metro community.

“The reinforcement of county police officers is designed to have an immediate impact on public safety on MetroLink lines,” said County Executive Stenger. “Because the public’s safety is at stake, I strongly urge Metro to approve this proposal and incorporate it into the agency’s comprehensive security strategy.” 

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Video shows suspects wanted in MetroLink platform shooting

(STL County PD) (STL County PD)
Updated:

A man was shot in the thigh while at the North Hanley MetroLink station in North County. 

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  • Would you be more likely to ride MetroLink if more police officers were assigned to the trains?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

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