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15 are also useful for responding to and reporting violence against Practice for Transit Applications, VCA Recommended operators. The NTI site is accessible at www.ntionline.com Practice Working document, Washington, D.C., Mar. 2010. and the Transportation Safety Institute site, at www.tsi. Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology, also known as dot.gov. Automated Video Surveillance or Intelligent Video, can pro- vide continuous analysis of CCTV images that automatically American Public Transit Association, Recommended Prac- alerts dispatch when a specific alarm event is detected. tice: Recruiting and Retaining Bus Operations Employees, APTA has produced a draft Recommended Practice docu- APTA BTS-BO-RP-003-09, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2009. ment for the implementation of VCA technology. Events that The document aims to assist transit agencies recruit and may be detected include individuals in distress, objects being retain bus operators. It describes the Bus Operator Selection thrown inside the bus, objects being thrown at the bus or Survey, a process software with a preemployment screening operator, and fighting. Currently, VCA is not being utilized survey and a structured interview process. It also mentions for bus operator protection applications. In using this tech- other testing or screening methods, such as Wonderlic Testing, nology, agencies need to consider probability of detection, which measures cognitive ability and general intelligence; false alarm rate, false negatives for events that occur but are Manpower, Personnel Selection Inventory; and TotalView not detected, and factors such as weather and lighting that Assessment. The candidate selection steps are listed (appli- can affect detection ranges and performance. cation, drug testing, reference check, DMV record check, job stability, driving experience, age, criminal background Casciari, D., "Bus CCTV Could Predict Assaults," BBC News, check, interviews). START Training, a video-based training Sept. 24, 2009. package for new and existing operators, is also described. A Queens University Belfast research team from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies is working on a CCTV system that can predict crime, including operator assaults, VIDEO SURVEILLANCE before it happens. Once the system identifies a potential crime, images would be sent to a command center and a controller/ As noted in TCRP Synthesis 80, video surveillance is widely dispatcher would intervene if necessary by communicating used by transit agencies and is "an excellent, scalable secu- directly with the potential assailant. The system would analyze rity solution and addresses multiple security needs" (2). At data on the bus's location, time of day, and historic crime rate the same time, issues such as image quality and storage require- as well as information obtained by the CCTVs on individuals ments need to be considered for agencies to obtain the full boarding the bus. benefit of video systems (2). Transit agencies have been con- verting their legacy analog systems to digital systems and are exploring wireless solutions. Advanced systems enable wire- SELF-DEFENSE less uploads of video to central servers at depots or control cen- ters. The most advanced systems have real-time video, allow- Nonlethal self-defense tools include pepper spray or gel, ing police or dispatch to view what is happening inside of a bus. Taser, kubotan, and physical self-defense without tools. Oleo- resin capsicum (OC), commonly known as pepper spray or American Public Transit Association, Technical Recom- pepper gel, is obtained from dried chili peppers ground into mended Practice for the Selection of Cameras, Digital a fine powder. An emulsifier is added so that it can be used as Recording Systems, and Digital High-Speed Networks and an irritant to control violent people. The Taser fires electrified Train-lines for Use in Transit-Related CCTV Systems, darts to immobilize an individual by causing neuromuscular APTA IT-RP-001-08 V3, Washington D.C., 2008. incapacitation. A kubotan is a small stick that can be used as APTA's Recommended Practice document for closed circuit a self-defense tool. The principal areas for attacks in self- television (CCTV) systems assists agencies planning to install defense include bony, fleshy, and nerve targets. Currently, or upgrade their CCTV systems. APTA's Technical Working Houston METRO is the only transit agency that issues a Group issued a Technical Recommended Practice in 2007 self-defense tool and associated training to its bus opera- and amended it in 2008 for the selection of cameras, digital tors. Although there have been post-use studies on OC in recording systems, and high-speed digital train-lines for new subduing individuals by law enforcement personnel, there installations of CCTV systems in transit applications, includ- have not been many controlled scientific studies on the safety ing buses (onboard and external) and depots. The document and effectiveness of OC because they are difficult to do. An provides recommendations on camera specifications and sys- evaluation of less-than-lethal weapons that may be suitable tem design, analog and digital recording systems, transmis- for use by bus operators was performed by Officer Trevino sion, and system testing methodology. Recommendation on of Houston METRO and is summarized here. Also summa- real-time video wireless transmission is also provided. rized later is a National Institute of Justice report describing the results of two studies, one on injuries occurring in three American Public Transit Association, Draft Recommended North Carolina police jurisdictions and the other on the Practice for Video Content Analytics (VCA) Recommended deaths of 63 individuals who had died in police custody.
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16 Officer Trevino, Houston METRO, Police Study on Less- and a higher retail cost. at $41.99. The costs may be than-Lethal Options for Bus Operators. reduced through volume purchases. The report noted A Houston METRO police study on less-than-lethal options pepper gel 1 as the most appropriate less-than-lethal for bus operators was performed prior to the agency issuing self-defense option for METRO bus operators based on self-defense tools to its operators. The following options were cost per unit and effectiveness. The study noted that the evaluated: Taser, self-defense training, pepper spray and gel, product was ideal for a tubular environment and would and the kubotan. The study also obtained input from several provide security for operators as they wait for police large transit agencies and TSA Air Marshals to assess their assistance during assaults and other incidents. experiences with self-defense tools for operators. The Air Self-defense training--Advantages of self-defense training Marshals indicated that flight attendants had the option of were its short training time, low cost, and the absence of undergoing a 2-day self-defense training. According to the a weapon visible to the public. Another advantage was study, no transit agency had issued self-defense tools to their its ease of development; self-defense classes and courses operators--Houston METRO would be the first U.S. agency to already exist and are being used for transit and airline do so. The following summarize the outcome of the evaluation: personnel. Disadvantages included exposure of opera- tors to more physical harm as a result of the hands-on Taser--Advantages of Taser include the ability of the user nature of this defense technique. The training also does to keep a safe distance (about 15 ft) from the assailant, not make the operator completely proficient in tech- along with contact stun capability. In addition, the Taser niques; in addition, it must be practiced regularly or the may be used anywhere on the body. The Taser has ability to use the techniques in stressful situations might been more than 95% effective in stopping attackers in be lost. actual law enforcement encounters, even if the attacker Kubotan--Kubotan is one of the few martial arts weapons was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To ensure that is legal and unregulated. It can be used for painful responsible use, the new owner must complete a back- blows to soft tissue areas or disabling blows to an oppo- ground check. Although independent medical reports nent's vital points, or for hooking, trapping, and pain- have attested to its safety, negative publicity about police compliance techniques to immobilize an adversary. The Taser use may make it hard to justify to the public its kubotan has not received negative publicity and is not as provision to bus operators. Compared with other self- controversial as other impact weapons. It is lowest in defense options, errant discharges of this tool may be terms of unit cost, at $5 per unit. Also, training may be more likely to strike bus patrons if not used properly. developed from a DVD available for purchase. The pri- Although training would address this issue to a certain mary disadvantages are that, if the user is not trained extent, use in a stressful situation would be much properly, the kubotan may cause major damage to bones harder than in training. The cost of this unit is higher or cartilage and, because its use requires physical prox- than the other options, at about $499 per unit. The higher imity and contact with the assailant, it poses a risk of unit cost, along with the required training and mainte- injury to the operator. As with self-defense training, nance, make this option the most expensive of the ones techniques must be practiced regularly or the ability to presented, and the least recommended less-than-lethal use it during emergency situations might be lost. option. Pepper spray and gel--Several products were investigated Based on a variety of factors, including the advantages in this category of OC products. Two were selected for and disadvantages listed in this section, Houston METRO further examination; for the purpose of this synthesis, decided to issue pepper gel 1 to its bus operators. Additional they will be called pepper gel 1 and pepper gel 2. Mini- information about pepper gel is provided in chapter five. mal cross-contamination and ease of cleanup were a few of the factors that made these two pepper gel products National Institute of Justice, The Effectiveness and Safety of more appropriate than others. Advantages of both pep- Pepper Spray, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Depart- per gel 1 and 2 were their far-reaching spray distance; ment of Justice, Washington, D.C., 2003. their small size, which makes them light and portable, The National Institute of Justice report focused on two stud- and their safety in a tubular environment--because they ies it had funded on the effectiveness and safety of pepper have the least amount of airborne contaminants, the spray use by law enforcement. One study examined injuries possibility of cross-contamination is minimized. Should in three North Carolina police jurisdictions, and the other cross-contamination occur, the water-based product may explored the in-custody deaths of 63 suspects on whom pep- easily be decontaminated with water. The author noted per spray had been used. The first study revealed that the that negative press can be managed with good outreach number of injuries to both officers and suspects had gone to the public and passengers on the benefits of these down after the introduction of pepper spray. The second products. Pepper gel 1 had the highest concentration of study concluded that of the 63 individuals who had been in OC, at 1.42%, and its retail cost per unit was $19.95, police custody when they died, in only two of them was pep- making it more affordable than other options. Pepper gel per spray contributory to their deaths. Both of the individuals 2 had a slightly increased risk of cross-contamination were asthmatics. The other deaths were caused by the indi-