Calgary Transit doubles peace officer deployment as first step in addressing safety concerns
CALGARY -- Calgary Transit passengers can expect to encounter peace officers on a more frequent basis after a decision was made to expand their presence in an effort to improve safety.
As of Monday, the average number of peace officers working each day has increased from 30 to 60.
According to Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Davison, the initial increase is being facilitated through overtime pay and not additional hires, but there are future plans to hire 30 contracted service staff to help improve visibility at LRT stations and take incident reports.
The third prong of the three-step process will see the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Community Standards, the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) team and corporate security provide additional support and relief to allow peace officers to spend more time on CTrains and at stations.
Russell Davies, the acting director of Calgary Transit, says they have noticed "a slight increase in social disorder."
"This is more of a perceived safety thing in some respects," he said. "If you look at the absolute numbers, they're fairly small in terms of changes, but the thing is we have a significant drop in ridership so the rate of incidents looks a little worse. The real point is that with fewer people onboard the system, our existing people monitoring can see the problems easier. They would have been hidden by thousands of other people before, but it's a little more evident now."
Davies said a goal of the campaign is to encourage Calgarians to ride transit more as health measures lift.