CTA Uses Surveillance Network to Improve Customer Safety

February 10, 2010
With the installation of high definition cameras underway at rail stations, the Chicago Transit Authority today announced that it intends to contribute to community policing efforts by working with local police departments to make images from surveillance cameras available to the public when appropriate.
The CTA frequently provides video images to the police for use in their investigations. In situations where the police are seeking community assistance, the CTA plans to post police issued community alerts with images at rail stations to help notify riders and support the police investigation.
“CTA currently assists local police departments by providing them with surveillance video that may be pertinent to their investigations,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “With the expansion of the camera network, we’re planning to expand the availability of information and images to the public in an effort to generate awareness and ultimately improve customer safety.”
CTA recently completed the installation of cameras at 24 Green Line stations; bringing the total number of cameras to 1,657 cameras at 73 rail stations.  By summer, each CTA rail station will have at least one high resolution camera and additional cameras will be installed across the rail system beginning with the Brown and Red lines later this year.
CTA is continuing to work with law enforcement to maximize this technology in order to further improve the safety and security of customers. This may include, where appropriate, the publication of information that will assist law enforcement in the investigation of pending crimes and the apprehension of responsible parties.
“We strive daily to provide a safe, comfortable environment on our buses and trains,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman, Terry Peterson. “Through our collaborative efforts with local police departments, we will be able to provide pertinent information to communities that will assist us in providing a safe and secure environment for customers and employees.”
CTA recently received $22.6 million in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds to enhance its security and surveillance network and is using it to expand camera coverage on its rail system as well as enhance the agency’s security network. All the projects will be paid for by a combination of DHS, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Regional Transportation Authority funds.
Security on CTA buses and trains is provided by the Chicago Police Department Public Transportation Section. Officers from the unit include both uniformed and plainclothes officers who ride the trains and buses and patrol stations. CTA works closely with CPD to identify, apprehend and prosecute individuals who commit crimes on CTA property.
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