The Chicago Transit Authority today presented the Chicago Police Department's Public Transportation Section with 19 new squad cars to replace older vehicles in the fleet. The Ford Crown Victoria police vehicles will be used by officers in the Public Transportation Section as they patrol and monitor CTA's system.
"Investments in security measures are capital improvements just like new buses and rail cars," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?The focus on security continues to grow and investments such as these new cars are essential in contributing to the safety of the region's transportation system."
The new police cars feature LED police lights, sirens and special striping designating them as CTA vehicles. The heavy-duty model Crown Victoria includes a heavier suspension, transmission, alternator and cooling system than standard models.
?The City of Chicago and the Public Transportation Section of the Chicago Police Department are integral components of CTA's continued efforts to provide a safe and secure environment," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?We are pleased to provide these new vehicles to support their efforts."
?Reliable equipment is just as important as the proper training in the effort to combat and deter criminal activity," said Commander Dennis Rayl, head of CPD's Public Transportation Section. ?These cars have state-of-the-art features and are a welcome addition to our fleet."
Crime overall on the CTA system has decreased nearly nine percent (9%) for the period of January-December 2006, compared to the same period in 2005.
The new police cars will be equipped with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) systems and laptops and antennas to participate in CTA's Mobile Security Network pilot which began last December.
CTA is testing the feasibility of the network, using 40 CTA buses, Chicago Police Department (CPD) Public Transportation Section police cars, CTA supervisory and security vehicles and fixed locations at select rail stations and two garages.
Individuals in pilot vehicles are able to view live images from the existing security cameras on CTA buses and the images from CTA's fiber optic network that connects to security cameras at CTA rail stations. The pilot vehicles need only be within 600 feet of a wireless transmitter in order to receive images.
The ability to view live images allows police and emergency personnel to view and assess situations more quickly and take the appropriate action.
The City of Chicago invests approximately $22 million annually to fund the Public Transportation Section of the police department. The Public Transportation Section consists of full time police officers assigned to monitor the bus and rail system by patrolling stations, and riding trains and buses.
CTA also uses private security guards and canine patrol teams to augment the services provided by CPD in monitoring CTA's rail system and facilities.
The cars were purchased with capital funding provided by The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Regional Transportation Authority. The FTA provided $347,867 and the RTA provided $86,967 for a total cost of $434,834. # # #