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Greater Cleveland RTA’s police chief discusses safety measures on buses and trains

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 10:55 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There’s been a fatal shooting on an RTA Bus and an assault at an RTA bus stop.

These incidents happened within weeks of each other.

“It’s getting kinda out of hand like West 25th, East 25th, Superior,” said Angelo Farmer of Cleveland.

Avid RTA bus rider Angelo Farmer says, for the most part, he feels safe on the buses but these recent acts of violents are concerning.

“When I heard about the shooting on the RTA bus... it’s disbelief now,” said Farmer.

19 News spoke to RTA’s chief of police, Deirdre Jones to see what’s being done to reduce the violence and crime on the buses and trains.”

“We are working hard, we’re working diligently to keep you safe on the system,” said Jones. “Not just our riders, but our operators as well.”

Chief Jones tells us they are looking to increase patrols at bus and train stations, the only issue is they are short staffed.

“Law enforcement is having trouble hiring all over the country and transit police is no different,” she said.

Jones says besides recruiting more officers, they are also working on an RTA transit police program that will have ambassadors on the buses.

“The goal of the transit program is to lessen the law enforcement footprint on the system but to also have that visibility to help people feel secure,” said Jones. “They will help with all types of customer service issues... any kind of problems of course and we will respond.”

Farmer says he thinks that type of program will work if the right people are involved.

“Everybody that wants the job might not be qualified to deal with people emphatically. When dealing with the public it can get out of hand,” said Farmer.

Jones says the goal is to just make sure everyone is safe when riding with RTA.

“Always open to how we can make this place safer. In the meantime we’re giving it 150%,” said Jones.

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