EAST ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – St. Clair County is taking bold steps to make sure MetroLink customers are safe and secure.
St. Clair County is putting its money where its mouth is.
Sheriff Rick Watson plans to triple the number of law enforcement officers on the trains and the platforms at MetroLink stops.
“These are real cops these are certified policeman.”
Right now, three sheriff’s deputies have been protecting MetroLink passengers during the high crime evening hours. Beginning Monday there will be nine.
“You have to have people on these trains that have authority to make arrests to do certain things that only cops can do.”
The transportation system has been the scene of murders and robberies in recent months. Officials along the line all agree something has to be done.
St. Clair County`s proposal is simple: more cops.
“Not only are we going to see a reduction in instance we have over but hopefully we`re going to see an increase of ridership over here too because people are going to feel safer riding the train,” said Lt. Michael Hundelt.
St. Louis County has committed to doubling officers along MetroLink from 22 to 44 during the past year, there are more than twice as many stations in Missouri.
Illinois customers like the idea of more cops. Especially, Yolanda Bell, “I thank the Lord for that, that will be a blessing baby.
The $300,000 cost for the plan is being paid for by the St. Clair County Transit District. Leaders from St. Louis city, county and St. Clair County will be meeting next week to discuss security.