Three elected regional leaders released a plan Thursday detailing changes to MetroLink security.
The train runs through three jurisdictions: St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County Illinois. That situation makes policing the train a multi-agency effort, and an issue under debate in light of many recent crimes against riders.
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger released the document, called a “memo of understanding” about law enforcement on the train between the three jurisdictions who fund the MetroLink, and the agency that operates the train: Bi-State Development. It includes the signatures of Stenger, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, and St. Clair County Illinois Chairman, Mark Kern.
Those leaders and their law enforcement agencies met recently with Bi-State Development President and CEO, John Nations, to discusses MetroLink security. The memo includes a call for a joint law enforcement task for with members, clarification of command structure, and improved 911 communications for citizen reporting and police radios.
Stenger said the document calls for a seamless patrol of the train from all three jurisdictions.
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“What we’re trying to achieve through this document is the appropriate and the efficient utilization of all of the forces that we have on the line,” he said.
Nations said he just received the memo Thursday. He wouldn’t say whether or not Bi-State plans to add it’s support to the document until he had a chance to review it.
“Security on the MetroLink has always required regional collaboration and cooperation,” Nations said. “And I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing among the jurisdictions and with us, and what I’m seeing across the board that we’re going to make this system safe with our partners.”
The memo is not legally binding, but provides a framework.
On the same day Stenger released the memo publicly, a rider was robbed on the MetroLink platform in Clayton. Police quickly arrested two suspects and recovered a weapon.