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26 · Weapon(s) used, if any; TABLE 7 · Cause or situational factors; ONBOARD POLICE AND PERSONNEL · Whether the customer was removed and/or arrested; Personnel % · Injury description; and Police patrols 44 Plainclothes officers 39 · Treatment received. Security personnel 21 Fare enforcement officers or personnel 15 When video or audio surveillance recordings are avail- Supervisors 3 Volunteers (e.g., Guardian Angels) 2 able, they are typically tagged and saved as evidence. In None of the above 31 regard to the uses of the data, respondents indicated that the Total Responses 61 data along with video or audio recordings were being used for law enforcement purposes--identifying and prosecuting assailants and to enforce suspension-of-service policies that with high crime rates. Forty-four percent had police patrols, bar offenders from accessing their services. Another use of 39% used plainclothes officers, 21% used security personnel, the data included crime management and monitoring efforts, and 15% stated that they had fare enforcement officers or which include determination of incident location (routes) and personnel on board. Note that this does not mean that these frequency (crime rate), identifying trends, reporting trends respondents have specified personnel on every bus at all times. on specific routes to the police and transit management, and Resources need to be deployed strategically because police police and security resource deployment. National Transit and security personnel are limited and cannot be present on Database reporting, identification of training needs, program every bus all the time. Two respondents (3%) indicated use and policy development, request for additional police or of supervisors for onboard security, and another agency security funding, and employee injury-tracking were other reported the use of volunteers. A significant percentage of uses of the information. One agency forwards the informa- large agencies, about half of midsize agencies, and a fifth of tion to elected officials; another, to the media. small agencies use police patrols. Large agencies were also more likely to use plainclothes officers and security person- When asked to which entities they report operator assault, nel. Those agencies responding that they use none of these agencies responded that operator assaults are reported to the security methods were more likely to be midsize and small local police or transit police, the National Transit Database, agencies. As noted earlier, smaller agencies tend to have fewer Canadian Urban Transit Association, Uniform Crime Reports, incidences of violence and tend to have more restricted bud- and the National Incident Based Reporting System. Other gets and thus rely more on local law enforcement for their responses identified internal security personnel, state depart- security needs. ment of transportation, municipal officials, public disclosure requests, and prosecutors as report recipients. Larger and midsize agencies were, as expected, more likely to report to Onboard Technologies transit police than small agencies that do not have their own police departments. Onboard technologies support the bus operator during emer- gencies by facilitating communication with supervisors and responders, and fast response to incidents. Surveillance sys- METHODS TO ADDRESS OPERATOR ASSAULTS tems can deter attacks and, should one occur, can assist police in identifying and prosecuting the assailant. Methods to address operator assaults covered in this section include onboard police and personnel, onboard technologies, Emergency communications technologies can help oper- and nonpolicing methods, including agency policies and ators communicate with dispatch or police during emergency initiatives. situations. Vehicle location and monitoring technologies can help dispatchers alert police if a bus is in distress or goes off- Onboard Police and Personnel route without reason. Video and audio surveillance systems can assist police in identifying and prosecuting assailants, Use of onboard police and personnel is an effective crime- assist supervision in determining what was actually said and fighting measure: uniformed officers deter all types of crim- done during an incident, and can deter assaults. Survey respon- inal behavior, including assaults. The visible presence of dents indicated that video surveillance is one of the most other personnel can also help prevent assaults; one respon- effective and proven assault-prevention measures they have dent commented that high visibility by supervisors is a good implemented, as is shown in Table 8. CPTED techniques security measure. Plainclothes officers can stop offenders such as enhanced lighting and use of improved bus design to who commit various types of crime by arresting them and eliminate hiding places and increase visibility within the bus getting them out of the system. The responses elicited by the are also used by agencies to address crime. Barriers separat- question regarding onboard policing methods are shown in ing the bus operator from passengers have been implemented Table 7. There were 61 respondents to this question. Agen- by several agencies and are undergoing testing in others. cies typically allocate security personnel to locations (routes) Two-way radio or phone communications available on most
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27 TABLE 8 Audio surveillance is typically deployed along with CCTV ONBOARD TECHNOLOGIES cameras, and can assist law enforcement in identifying and Technologies % prosecuting offenders and in quickly resolving disputes be- Radio/phone communications 89 tween operators and passengers. Legal issues regarding whether Video surveillance/video record ing 85 Silent alarm/panic button 82 an agency is able to conduct audio surveillance differ by state Automatic vehicle location (AVL)/GPS systems 64 and jurisdiction. Therefore, an agency's legal division is Audio surveillance/audio recording 61 usually consulted before a decision to provide the measure Electronic distress sign visible to other operators 52 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) 28 is made. Real-time audio streaming 18 Assault prevention screens/partial enclosures 10 The question concerning onboard technologies asked about Total Responses 61 technologies being used to protect bus operators on board their buses. Multiple responses were allowed. Eighty-nine per- cent of the 61 respondents stated that they use radio or phone bus fleets may be used for emergency communication. Also, communications on board their buses; 85% use video sur- covert and overt panic buttons open up an immediate and veillance and recordings; 82% offer their operators a silent direct line of communication with a dispatcher or control cen- alarm and panic button for emergencies; 64% have an AVL/ ter. Covert panic buttons provide covert one-way communi- GPS system; and 61% use audio surveillance and recordings. cation with the dispatcher or police; they can hear what is More than half of the respondents have electronic distress occurring inside the bus but cannot communicate with the signs that are activated with a panic button. Twenty-eight operator, ensuring that the assailant does not know about the percent practice CPTED techniques. Six agencies, or 10%, operator's request for assistance. Covert panic buttons may indicated that they use barriers or partial enclosures on their also activate an electronic headsign stating "call police" or bus fleets; no respondent stated that they use compartments "call 911" to alert the public to summon assistance. Agencies or full enclosures. Two agencies reported having real-time have reported that these headsigns have been effective in video streaming, with two more planning to install it. Larger summoning rapid, emergency response. agencies were more likely to use each of these measures: all of the larger agencies reported having silent alarms or AVL systems can work in conjunction with these com- panic buttons in their bus fleet, and 91% reported using munications systems to supply dispatchers and emergency video surveillance. responders with the exact location of a bus in distress. For example, if the panic button is connected with the AVL sys- tem, then an alarm may be activated at the dispatch center Other Methods to Address Operator Assaults and the dispatch display can highlight the bus that is in dis- tress. Even if it is a standalone system, AVL technology can Transit agencies undertake numerous initiatives to prevent provide valuable information about the location of the bus in and mitigate operator assaults. The majority of agencies indi- cases where emergency response is necessary. Although most cated that they cooperate with law enforcement. These efforts modern AVL systems use Global Positioning System (GPS) include familiarizing local responders with an agency's buses, technology, some agencies still use the older signpost tech- including its emergency equipment, dispatch system, and the nology, which limits the ability of the system to provide agency's incident response procedures. Other initiatives in- accurate vehicle location, especially if the bus goes off-route. clude periodic meetings about problematic routes, incidents, Agencies with video surveillance systems find that they may and trend analysis. Some agencies engage in public and pas- be used for multiple purposes: video recording is often used senger awareness initiatives. These initiatives include inform- as legal evidence to identify and prosecute criminals. Video ing the public and passengers about the problem of operator can be used to resolve disputes between the operator and pas- assaults and what they can do to help assist the agency and police senger, serve as a training aid, prevent and identify false lia- in preventing assaults. An example of such an initiative is bility claims, and assist in accident investigations. Although WMATA's High Intensity Target Enforcement Program: video systems are expensive, grants provided by DHS and officers in uniform board buses and distribute information other agencies have helped agencies install and upgrade their about safety and security to passengers. Agencies may also systems. Video surveillance systems typically consist of sev- undertake media campaigns to announce security initiatives eral CCTV cameras within the bus and may also have a few or policies addressing crime and transit operator assault. Since external cameras. Unions have requested that cameras be many incidents are caused by youths and schoolchildren, pointed away from the operator owing to concerns that the school outreach efforts are important. School outreach efforts video recordings may be used for disciplinary purposes. The teach children how to ride a bus, how to be respectful to bus movement from analog to digital video systems and wireless operators, and other information useful to students. Commu- uploads of video recordings has been taking place. Because nity outreach activities have also been performed by the of bandwidth issues, many agencies have not yet implemented respondents and include participation in community events real-time video transmission functionality, which would allow and presentations on bus safety and security. Some respon- emergency responders to view onboard video in real-time. dents engage in high visibility prosecution of offenders and