More safety and security measures coming to transit
The City of Edmonton, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and community partners are continuing to take an integrated, multi-layered approach to further enhance safety and security on transit with a goal to create safer outcomes and support across the system.
In February and March 2021, additional security guards were deployed at select transit facilities to provide extra surveillance and support, and liaise directly with the ETS Control Centre for further security, as needed. They proactively identify and report issues for follow up. Data from March 2021 indicates that over 80 per cent of incidents on transit are related to: loitering, not wearing a mask or face covering and trespassing, and less than one per cent of offences are against another person. In addition to providing on site surveillance, security guards help those who are distressed and play a key role in the City’s multi-layered safety framework.
Furthermore, in early March, the EPS Community Engagement team, along with Centre High students, began public engagement sessions at some transit facilities to help activate spaces and provide safety information. Sessions occurred weekly in March and April. The EPS Crime Disruption Teams also currently deploy proactive policing on the transit system.
Starting in early May, the City, in collaboration with EPS, will be introducing joint operational teams involving additional police officers and Transit Peace Officers who will conduct dedicated, proactive patrols on transit and will be deployed based on intelligence-led data. These teams are in addition to other Transit Peace Officers who regularly patrol the transit network.
“Safety will always be our top priority at the City, and we’re continuing to take action, along with our community partners, to help Edmontonians remain safe in our community and on transit,” said Andre Corbould, City Manager. “Since the pandemic began, we have been working day in and day out on enhancing safety measures in our public spaces, and we will continue to amplify efforts to keep Edmontonians and staff safe.”
Administration has also developed a Community Outreach Transit Team model that partners Transit Peace Officers with Outreach Workers to provide a pathway to securing appropriate housing as needed, social support services, mental health supports and connections to basic needs like food and clothing. The Community Outreach Transit Team, which will be deployed this summer, aims to provide better access to support for those who are marginalized.
“There is a large team of cross-functional staff working on these security challenges daily, and we are fully committed to providing a safe transit network and transit experience for Edmontonians and staff,” said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Branch Manager of Edmonton Transit Service (ETS). “Our highest priority is the safety of the community, transit riders and transit staff.”
There are many safety features on transit and different ways of being an active bystander to report a concern:
Security guards are onsite at 21 transit centres and LRT stations.
Customers can text/call Transit Watch at 780.442.4900. Texting is a discreet way to report.
Emergency blue phones at all transit centres/LRT stations connect to the ETS Control Centre.
Red push buttons and yellow stripes on trains connect directly to the train operator.
Over 3,800 security cameras monitor transit service across the system.
The City remains highly committed to providing safe public spaces for Edmontonians and will continue to focus on public safety, recovering from the pandemic and providing tangible solutions to support those in our community who need additional support.