DDOT looks to beef up security staff

DETROIT – The city announced Wednesday a boom in officers who’ve joined Detroit Transit Police Department and that it is still hiring more.

Since the beginning of 2016, the department has hired three lieutenants, five sergeants and ten officers, making a current staff of 51. By the end of the year it should be 62.

“The first three months last year, we had 1,700 boardings by transit police,” said Dan Dirks of the Detroit Department of Transportation. “We’ve almost doubled; we have an 80 percent increase, up to 3,800.”

A boarding is when an officer randomly hops on to make sure everything is alright. Incidents on an around the busses are going down as the number of transit officers soars.

“Most of these are highly trafficked areas and we have a lot of youth and sometimes they bring issues from the neighborhood to the busses and to the bus stops,” Detroit Transit Police Chief Sidney Bogan said. “It gives us the opportunity to intervene before anything gets out of hand.”

Everyday commuters say they’ve seen a difference.

"I notice the difference when the officers are out. I think they need to have some more extended hours though, because I catch the bus at night and I don't see them sometimes at night or on the weekends," Nicol Bonner said.

Last year, a woman was stabbed and killed on a bus and just weeks ago someone was shot near Rosa Parks Transit Station. Suspects in both incidents were caught moments after due to an increase in officers and more cameras.

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