June 24, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Mayor Bass Orders Increased Police Presence on LA Metro After Surge in Violence

A Shocking Murder Was Committed on a Metro Bus After Announcement

Mayor Karen Bass has directed an increase in law enforcement visibility on Metro buses, trains, and stations in response to a rise in violence across the system. Joined by members of the Metro Board of Directors, Bass introduced a motion to enhance safety for riders and operators, which will be considered at the next Metro Board meeting.

“Yesterday, I directed a surge of law enforcement officers out on the system to address the recent uptick in violence on our Metro system. We are taking decisive action so that the people of Los Angeles feel safe on Metro buses, trains, and in stations,” said Mayor Bass.

However, a few hours after this press conference, the third violent incident in three days occurred aboard a Metro Bus in the city of Commerce. According to a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, “Deputies learned the Metro bus was in operation traveling east on the 6100 block of Slauson Avenue when it stopped at a bus stop. Once the bus came to a stop, a passenger, who was later identified as the suspect, approached the victim inside the bus and fired a handgun at the victim. The suspect subsequently exited the bus and fled the scene on foot.  Deputies searched the immediate area for the suspect and located him near the intersection of Peachtree Street and Eastern Avenue, Commerce.  He was taken into custody without incident. A firearm was recovered. 

There were no additional injuries related to the shooting incident on the bus.”

Metro Vice Chair and LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn emphasized the need for a visible police presence. “We have a responsibility to each and every rider and bus driver: they have to feel safe on Metro. Our law enforcement contracts are essential to safety, but they don’t do anyone any good if officers are not riding our trains and buses.”

Metro Board Director and Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian supported the motion, calling it “a necessary step in restoring safety and confidence in our system.”

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, also a Metro Board Director, highlighted the urgency of improving public safety, stating, “Despite the safety resources we’ve allocated, there continues to be a very real and unacceptable level of violence, drug use, and a blatant disregard for the law and our code of conduct. We won’t be able to simply arrest our way out of Metro’s public safety challenges, but law enforcement is an absolutely essential ingredient.”

Supervisor Hilda Solis outlined additional measures to protect passengers and employees, including increasing the number of transit security officers and installing reinforced physical barriers on buses. She also stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of violence, such as untreated mental illness and substance use.

Metro Board Director and LA City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky underscored the preventative nature of the proposed actions. “The steps that Board Chair Bass announced today aren’t just about reacting to crime; they’re about preempting it, and building a system that is safe for all Angelenos.”

Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins noted that while crime statistics have improved, the goal is to ensure all riders feel safe. “As a result of Chair Bass’s direction, riders will see an increased visible presence of uniformed personnel on our system, which will help us enforce the rules and reduce crime,” Wiggins said.

The motion, introduced by Mayor Bass, Supervisors Barger, Hahn, Solis, and Councilmember Najarian, seeks to bolster safety measures across the Metro system.

in NEWS
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