Customer safety and security is CTA’s No. 1 priority.
Under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a number of steps have been taken to improve efforts in tackling crimes committed across our bus and rail systems. Since 2011, we've stepped our efforts across the board, which includes expanded police patrols across the system, increased undercover operations targeting pick-pocket theft rings, vandalism and other crimes; and the expansion of our video surveillance network to more than 23,000 cameras – making it one of the most comprehensive bus and rail camera network among U.S transit agencies.
Cameras aiding in the fight against crime
Our camera network is an invaluable tool for police and their investigations into crimes committed either on or near CTA properties. CTA cameras have been successfully used in detecting crime patterns and serial offenders involved in both reported and unreported crimes, and have even led to the apprehension of offenders through real-time, remote policing missions.
Video Assisted Arrests
Since June 2011, when we began tracking video assisted arrests, CTA’s cameras have aided police in the investigation, arrest and charging of at least
Individuals, in connection with at least
cases where a crime was committed on or near CTA properties.
January - December 2014
During 2014, CTA cameras aided police in the arrest of at least 235 individuals in connection with at least 230 cases where a crime was committed on or near CTA properties.
Recent arrests and convictions
Tracked down the person who abandoned an alligator at the world’s busiest airport.
Identified and arrested multiple people involved in pick-pocket theft rings along the rail lines.
Began initiative to crack down and arrest vandals responsible for more than $1 million in property damage, annually.
These are just some of the ways CTA’s extensive surveillance camera network is proving invaluable to not only police, but also to customers and even reptiles.
Below is a sampling of some arrests made in 2014, where CTA's surveillance camera network aided police in the investigation of crimes committed on or near CTA properties. For more information on these cases click on the image below or download the (.pdf)
About our camera network
May 2014: Completed a $14 million project to retrofit our existing rail fleet – more than 840 rail cars – with more than 3,300 360-degree high definition cameras. These cameras are in addition to those on our newest generation of rail cars – the 5000-series, which we continue to take receipt of and come equipped with multiple surveillance cameras. CTA's entire rail passenger fleet is now fully equipped surveillance cameras.
October 2012: Created a new, secured access video surveillance room for use by CTA security investigators and local police to maximize the effectiveness of our comprehensive camera network and ensure they have quick and easy access to footage and live camera feeds. The space is approximately 2,800 square feet and more than 12 times larger than the previous space and provides investigators access to 20 terminals with 35 displays and a quad-screen video panel to view video from rail stations, rail cars and buses.
June - November 2011: CTA's rail system camera network more than doubled in size under an aggressive and unprecedented effort to install more than 1,800 additional cameras in rail stations and platform in less than six months to ensure every rail station was equipped with multiple, high-definition cameras. These cameras can provide a live-feed to the CTA Control Center and the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC).
Since 2003: Each bus in CTA's fleet is equipped with multiple surveillance cameras. Today, CTA's buses feature upwards of 12 cameras on each vehicle depending on model.
- Mayor Emanuel, CTA Announce Serious Crimes, Thefts Continue Downward Trend on CTA Trains, Buses (press release, 07/29/2014)
- Mayor Emanuel and President Claypool Announce Completion of Project to Install Cameras on Rail Cars (press release, 05/07/2014)
- Tag, You’re Arrested! New CTA Cameras Aid Fight Against Vandalism (press release, 04/22/2014)
- CTA Makes Images Available of Person Last Seen with Alligator Abandoned at O’Hare (press release, 11/12/2013)
- Serious crime on CTA down 19 percent in 2012 (press release, 02/25/2013)
- CTA to Expand Surveillance Cameras on Rail Cars (press release, 02/11/2013)
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CTA President Forrest Claypool Announce Installation of Security Cameras at ‘L’ stops Has Been Completed Ahead of Schedule (press release, 11/21/2011)
- Mayor Emanuel Highlights the Critical Role of Security Cameras on Chicago’s Transit in Solving Two Major Crimes (press release, 10/15/2011)
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces Additional Measure to Ensure the Safety and Security of People Across Chicago (press release, 07/27/2011)
- CTA Announces New Security Initiatives (press release, 06/20/2011)