Transit agency will soon deploy new K-9 security teams as part of ongoing efforts to enhance the security of customers and employees
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that it has entered into a new agreement for unarmed, K-9 teams to patrol stations across the rail system. Each K-9 team will consist of two, unarmed guards and a canine. This new contract is the latest initiative announced by the CTA since the unveiling of its “Meeting the Moment” action plan and supports the guiding pillar to enhance safety and security of customers and employees.
CTA’s “Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future” action plan was formally unveiled less than two weeks ago and outlines a multi-pronged approach to improving rider experiences to ensure that public transportation is the first choice of travel throughout the region.
“As part of ‘Meeting the Moment,’ we promised we would be increasing security to ensure customers’ peace of mind when choosing to take the CTA. The addition of the K-9 units is just one way we’re following through on our commitment to security for our customers, as well as our frontline employees who play a vital role in keeping our system moving every day,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr.
CTA has signed an 18-month contract with Action K-9 for $30.9 million, which will provide up to 100 unarmed guards and 50 canines per day, plus supervision and supporting equipment. The K-9 teams will consist of two unarmed guards and one canine. These new K-9 units will complement the efforts of the existing security presence out on CTA, which now boasts more than 300 unarmed guards throughout the system each day.
Details regarding the timing and general deployment plans of these new K-9 teams are still being finalized and will be announced later. CTA is working with Action K-9 to ensure that all guards assigned to K-9 teams have a valid canine handler license, and have undergone all required training prior to their deployment on CTA properties.
Also as part of “Meeting the Moment” action plan, CTA has been developing new ways to target fare theft and prevent fare evasion before it leads to other illicit activities. Among their duties, these unarmed K-9 teams will be deployed near station turnstiles to deter fare evasion and increase the overall security presence at stations.
This contract is being paid for with funds from the annual operating budget. CTA has contracted with Action K-9 for security support in the past; however, this new contract will allow each K-9 team to better handle a variety of situations by doubling the number of security guards with each canine.