Metro Transit Police Work Group to weigh suggestions for improving transit safety

Date: Friday, September 17, 2021

Three police officers in masks next to a train at a station platform.Metropolitan Council members have begun sorting through the suggestions and feedback from community members, transit customers, and transit employees to improve safety on the region’s transit system.

The Met Council has received a full summary of public and frontline employee engagement, facilitated by the Citizens League and the Twin Cities Innovation Alliance. A Council member work group will discuss and prioritize issues raised and make recommendations to the full Metropolitan Council by early 2022.

The Citizens League summary (PDF) identified five key themes from the engagement process:

  • Comparison of perceptions and realities of safety
  • Passenger behavior impacts safety
  • Presence of more riders helps passengers feel safe
  • Safety is more than fare enforcement; it includes experiences with violence and harassment on transit
  • Presence of authority figures leads to a greater sense of safety

Ongoing engagement will be important moving forward

The report recommends implementing ideas from community and transit employees and continuing to engage those groups in an ongoing conversation about transit safety.

Council members discussed the report at the Metro Transit Police Work Group and Committee of the Whole meetings in September. Among the priorities they identified for the work group’s consideration:

  • Training (de-escalation, anti-racism, etc.)
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Customer behavior and de-escalation
  • Police department governance and accountability
  • Creating space for voices among youth, women, and people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color
  • Recruiting diverse personnel and supporting diversity in the police department
  • Processes and polices related to use of force

The Metro Transit Police Work Group is meeting twice a month and shaping conversations among all Metropolitan Council members once a month at Committee of the Whole meetings. Learn more about the work group.

Posted In: Transportation

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