Lax Metro Patrols: Officers Stroll While Man Dies


Public Transit Under Scrutiny: Addressing Safety Concerns in Los Angeles

With increased reports of alarming attacks on public transit in Los Angeles, the issue of passenger safety has surged to the forefront of public discourse. While the demand for a bolstering of law enforcement presence on buses, trains, and in Metro stations has been heard, the LA News Center delves into the complexities of the situation.

Lax Enforcement and Disturbing Incidents

Despite authorizing an influx of law enforcement officers, recent events suggest that the problem may extend beyond the quantity of officers present. In a disturbing incident, a body lay unnoticed for nearly six hours at the Metro’s San Pedro Street station, even with five LAPD officers patrolling the same platform.

Former Metro Security Chief Gina Osborn raised concerns about the alleged indifference of these officers, stating to the LA News Center: “[The officers] weren’t even paying attention… They weren’t engaged enough to notice a person hunched over.” Osborn was subsequently dismissed from her position after voicing similar criticisms about contracted law enforcement agencies, allegations that Metro authorities categorically deny.

Conflicting Perspectives on Duty and Responsibility

While Osborn maintains that officers should be doing more, LAPD Transit Services Bureau Deputy Chief Donald Graham presents a different viewpoint. According to Graham, an internal investigation cleared the officers, confirming that they were present to ensure that riders possessed proper transit fare. Graham acknowledges the need for ongoing improvement, stating: “There’s always room for improvement… We will always continue to question whether or not what we’re doing is the best way.”

Assuring Safety: A Collaborative Effort

Representatives from the Sheriff’s Department and LBPD have reassured the public of their commitment to maintaining safety on the transit system, in accordance with their contracts with Metro. The need for collaboration and coordinated efforts between all involved entities is evident, as the well-being of transit riders remains paramount.

Fare Evasion: A Factor in Violence

In a surprising revelation, statistics indicate that a significant proportion of violent incidents on public transit involve individuals without valid fare. This raises questions about the effectiveness of fare enforcement as a means of ensuring safety. Experts suggest that a multifaceted approach, combining increased security with measures to address fare evasion, may be necessary to create a safer environment for all those who rely on public transportation.

Striving for a Secure Transit System

The safety of passengers using Los Angeles’ public transit system is a matter of grave importance. While increased law enforcement presence is certainly warranted, the LA News Center’s investigation highlights the need to address underlying issues related to officer engagement and the role of fare evasion in violence. Only through sustained collaboration, comprehensive strategies, and a commitment to ongoing improvement can the goal of a secure transit system be achieved.

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