Bi-state leaders say security on MetroLink improving, but still needs work

Leaders from St. Louis City and County and St. Clair County say they have increased police patrols.

ST. LOUIS - After a series of high-profile crimes on the MetroLink this spring and summer, bi-state leaders pledge to make the line safer.

Wednesday, they gathered at a meeting of the Citizens for Modern Transit, to give an update on the progress.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said the MetroLink is headed in the right direction.

“With that said, we have a long way to go,” Stenger said. “There are significant security issues that still need to be dealt with.”

Stenger is advocating for physical barriers, such as turn styles, within the system.

“We're talking now about a pilot program on a few stops that would present physical barriers,” Stenger said. “I think our situation would be much better with physical barriers.”

St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern said there are more deputies patrolling the stops in the evening. 

“New funds allocated by St. Clair County Transit, about $300,000 toward adding security at the platforms and trains throughout the Illinois side of the system,” Kern said.

St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson said the city has allocated some law enforcement resources to the line, but the police department continues to struggle with a shortage of officers.

Krewson said the jurisdictions are improving communication. Recently, Washington University donated a building to MetroLink. It is an area where law enforcement agencies are able to meet and collaborate.

“Officers are communicating,” Krewson said. “The captain in St. Louis County is communicating with the lieutenant in St. Louis City and the sheriff in St. Clair County.”

There is also a newly-created transit advisory group that is made up of community members, business groups and education organizations. They will make sure the elected officials and law enforcement are held accountable and continue to work on improving MetroLink.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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