MTPD and MPD partner to boost transit safety in Washington D.C.

Posted: 9 February 2023 | | No comments yet

MTPD and MPD’s partnership aims to enhance safety across WMATA’s transit system, by increasing police presence and joint patrols, as well as crisis intervention specialists who have been trained to address mental health issues.

MTPD and MPD partner to boost transit safety in Washington D.C.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced a new partnership between the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) and the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to enhance public safety and security on the transit system by increasing police presence.

“We know that residents and visitors want to see a strong police presence in our community, and that’s what this partnership will allow us to provide,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “When police are in the community, people feel safer and our officers can respond faster. Hundreds of thousands of people use Metro every day to move around DC, and now, they can expect to see more MPD officers out during their commutes.”

Beginning the week commencing 13 February 2023 and continuing through June 2023, MTPD officers will partner on patrols at stations and transit centres with police officers working on assignment from MPD, beginning with five stations within Washington, D.C.

“We appreciate Mayor Bowser’s leadership as our police departments work collaboratively to make our community safer,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “This partnership will allow transit police to ride more buses and trains.”  

WMATA launches initiatives to increase customer safety across transit network

“In recent months MTPD has increased patrols 30% at the busiest times, hired crisis intervention specialists and bolstered our camera network to better fight crime, and this new partnership will further enhance our ability to keep customers safe,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo. “This collaborative approach will allow us to better protect the community and increase our visibility on trains and buses, and we look forward to working alongside MPD and other local law enforcement partners.”

Two officers per station will conduct joint patrols to increase police visibility and response time, especially during rush hours. WMATA will fund the extra patrols and expects to finalise agreements with additional police departments in other jurisdictions served by the authority, which will increase patrols at rail stations and on bus routes throughout the system as much as 60%.

Furthermore, MTPD has expanded its ‘problem solving police strategy’ by hiring crisis intervention specialists who are trained to address mental health crisis and increasing officers’ presence on Metrobus and Metrorail under the operation ‘Helping Hands’. The model focuses on addressing the root cause of an issue and providing ways to address it.

In early 2023, MTPD also equipped officers and crisis intervention specialists with Naloxone (Narcan) to aid in the prevention of opioid overdoses. In addition, in 2022, MTPD implemented several initiatives to reduce crime in the WMATA system including the fare evasion warning campaign.