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64 offenders serves as a deterrent to these and potential assailants indicates that the agency supports its employees, will take every and assures the operator that the agency stands behind its measure to ensure their safety, provides an Employee Assis- employees. tance Program, and indicates that the Union (ATU) supports additional training of its members in personal protection and safety and in techniques in conflict resolution. Advantages · Bus operator perspective--increased perception of man- Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), agement support for operators. Toronto, Canada · Agency perspective--the Employee Assistance pro- grams can help operators recover and return to work TTC has had an employee assistance program since the 1960s. sooner; the programs are relatively inexpensive and can Victims are offered trauma counselors and are provided on-site create goodwill between the agency management and intervention by division managers, referral to the Employee operators; they also demonstrate to the community that & Family Assistance Program, follow-up through manage- the agency cares about its workers. ment contact from incident to court disposition, and referral to a Court Support/Employee advocate. TTC has initiated a study Agency Experience with St. Michael's hospital to provide effective treatments and return-to-work approaches for acute traumatic events. CTTRANSIT, Connecticut TTC's court support elements include the following: CTTRANSIT Hartford operates more than 30 local and 12 express bus routes, serving 26 counties in the Hartford capi- · Contact the victim and provide court system information; tal region. CTTRANSIT New Haven operates over 22 routes, · Prepare victim for court and "Victim Impact Statements"; and CTTRANSIT Stamford operates 15 routes. CTTRAN- · Attend Court for bail hearings and trial/sentencing SIT has been committed to supporting operators after an hearings; assault and creating a culture of "trust" so that operators can · Consult with Crown Attorney to ask that Operator as- feel comfortable turning to the agency for help and support saults be treated more seriously; after an incident. CTTRANSIT's Employee Assistance Pro- · Track case dispositions and ongoing investigations; gram provides its transit workers with any necessary coun- · Maintain contact with victim regarding case investiga- seling and legal assistance after an assault has occurred. Many tions and/or court dispositions until conclusion; and years ago, a female operator was sexually assaulted and needed · Report to Commission Prosecutor/Court Liaison. several months of psychological counseling and support before she felt ready to return to work. The support included PASSENGER OUTREACH actions that specifically addressed the operator's need for reas- surance about her personal safety; her supervisors monitored Passenger outreach efforts, including media campaigns and her progress until she was ready to resume her job. Once she the placement of prominent signage regarding the penalty for returned to work, supervisors periodically checked on her to operator assault on buses, affirms to the operators that the ensure her safety. agency stands firmly behind them and cares about their well- being. Some states and cities mandate the placement of these CTTRANSIT management and the union encourage oper- signs on buses; agencies contacted indicated that they would ators to report all incidents. Operators may also be motivated use this signage even in the absence of these laws. The sign- to report an incident to protect themselves against a customer age also discourages passengers from assaulting operators, complaint. Management believes that there is 100% report- although the extent to which they are a deterrent has been ing of serious incidents. However, minor incidents, including questioned. A TWU representative noted that the majority of verbal assaults, may be underreported. When an incident oc- assaults are not premeditated and may not be influenced by curs, the operator completes a form describing the incident signage. Media campaigns against operator assault demon- to formally report an incident. Reporting incidents allows strate agency support for their employees and generate good- CTTRANSIT to address each incident by taking action to will among operators toward management and within the seek out and capture the perpetrator and by using the incident community as well. to train other operators so that a similar incident does not occur again. Advantages Pierce Transit, Lakewood, Washington · Operator perspective--goodwill among operators is cre- ated through management support of operators by demon- Pierce Transit established a Memorandum of Understanding strating that management is concerned and serious about (MOU) between the agency and the ATU Local 758. The MOU their security.
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65 FIGURE 31 NYC Transit bus signage. (Courtesy: Dr. Yuko FIGURE 32 NYC Transit assault penalty bus signage. Nakanishi.) (Courtesy: Dr. Yuko Nakanishi.) · Public perspective--promotes the image that the agency clearly visible to passengers as they board (see Figures 31 to is a good employer that cares about its workers. 33). Additionally, NYC Transit has automated announce- · Is relatively inexpensive. ments reminding customers about fare payment, which min- imizes the potential for fare-related disputes. Agency Experience Capital District Transportation Authority, NYC Transit and NJ Transit display clear signage on buses Albany, New York indicating penalties associated with an assault on a bus oper- ator. NYC Transit also provides fare information on the left CDTA has a security awareness program for their passengers hand side of the bus exterior adjacent to the front door, and their operators. Signage stating "if you see something, TRANSIT The W a y To Go. FIGURE 33 NJ Transit assault penalty signage. (Courtesy: NJ Transit.)