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83 C H A P T E R 9 Key Points Summary Risk Factors 1. In the public transit environment, the protection and security of people are the foremost concerns. This includes the passengers who use the system, the employees who deliver the transportation services, and a third set of indirect participants who interface with transit sys- tems such as station vendors, other building tenants or occupants, delivery persons, or those with homes or businesses in proximity to transit facilities or infrastructure. 2. In addition to human assets, public transit agencies have an extensive range of property or infrastructure-related assets as well as intrinsic or intangible assets such as goodwill. Transit vehiclesâbuses, trolleys, trainsâare the most recognizable of transitâs infrastructure; how- ever, there are also stations owned or operated by transit agencies, and stops or shelters, office buildings, maintenance facilities, parking lots, information systems, communications huts, and other types of property used to support services. 3. Public transit agencies should be prepared to respond to the following 3 types of security risks. a. Homeland Defense/Homeland SecurityâThe Risk of Terrorist Attack i. From a worldwide perspective, transportation assets moving by air, land, or sea have long been a primary target of focused attacks by hijackers, pirates, anarchists, or terrorists. Specific to public transit, terrorist attacks have been launched directly against intercity and over-the-road buses, subways, elevated trains, passenger trains, trolleys, ferries, and other types of conveyances. b. Felony or Misdemeanor CrimeâThe Risk of Crime and Criminal Activity i. The nationâs mass transit systems and the people who use these systems are susceptible to the occurrence of felony (major) and misdemeanor crime, including both crimes against persons and crimes against property. c. Minor Offenses and Disorder i. Quasi-crime, offenses, or disorder continue can have the highest and most adverse secu- rity impact on transit agencies. Problems include loitering, panhandling, runaways, tru- ants, and homeless populations, which can exacerbate criminal activity. Small- and Medium-Sized Agencies Security Risk Profile 1. Research determined that there are significant differences between the security risks, needs, and issues facing smaller agencies when compared to those of large metropolitan tran- sit systems. Fortunately the findings are that police and security problems at small- and medium-sized systems occur with much less frequency or magnitude of severity. A survey of Conclusions
84 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems large, medium, and small transit agencies disclosed that the smaller the system, the less prob- able it is for the agency to experience significant levels of crime or disorder. 2. Similarly, homeland securityâor terrorism-related threats rarely occur on smaller systems. However, serious crime, including violent crime, does occur infrequently on smaller systems. And there is also a potential for major security events or crisis to occur. 3. In contrast to the much more extensive and costly security-related requirements necessary to protect large-sized transit agencies, the scope and extent of countermeasures warranted for small- and medium-sized agencies is correspondingly smaller. Basically the difference lies in the reduced infrastructure and critical asset footprint and operating characteristics of small- and medium-sized agencies. 4. With a few exceptions, the small- and medium-sized transit agencies profiled in this study operate over the road with buses, trolleys, vans, or cars that require a level of security com- mensurate with the protection of: (1) vehicles in transit on highways, rural and suburban city, borough, or township streets, or other roadways; (2) infrastructure such as unstaffed bus shelters or bus stops, vehicle storage depots, bus stations, and maintenance facilities neces- sary to support these conveyances; (3) employees who operate the conveyances; (4) minimal administrative and management staff; and (5) the passengers who use the agencyâs transpor- tation services. 5. Irrespective of the size of the agency, in general terms, transit security problems fall into a small group of categories: (1) passenger security, (2) employee security, (3) revenue security, (4) transit equipment and property protection, (5) fraud, and (6) homeland security security- related threats and vulnerabilities. 6. The highest consequence security issue that small- and medium-sized transit agencies must confront on a daily basis is the potential for employees to be assaulted while performing their duties. Although lesser crimes or violations may occur more frequently, by and large the most significant criminal threat outside of homicide that the transit agency will face is as an aggravated assault committed against an employee. Homeland Security 1. Major homeland security/homeland defense threats include: a. Arson b. Explosives c. WMDs or Mass Effect d. Violent Confrontations/Hostage Situations e. Malicious Tampering f. Transit Vehicle as a Weapon g. Network Failure/Cyber Attack Crime and Disorder 1. Transit systems must remain open and accessible to thousands of daily customers, some- times 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and comingled among these law-abiding fare-paying passengers is a criminal element whose goal is to commit crimes by taking advantage of targets of opportunity. 2. Crimes against person include homicide, aggravated and simple assault, robbery, rape, sex offenses, and harassment. Each transit system experiences its own unique blend of these types of crimes in terms of frequency and severity. 3. Both small- and medium-sized transit agencies should rarely see any form of homicide on their systems. However, even these systems may not be immune to isolated incidents where
Conclusions 85 murder is caused by conflict between primary or non-primary family, friends, or acquain- tances. Similarly, strangers in pursuit of gain or some other rational or irrational motivation may commit murder either concurrent with the commission of a felony, or as a result of mental deficiency. 4. Assault crimes are charged based on âdegreesâ of consequence or through determination of weapon types whether used or possessed. Simple assault or harassment may occur based solely on a nonviolent offensive touching, for example, spitting on another individual, while aggravated assault would be charged in circumstances where a weapon is brandished in commission of a felony or an individual is severely beaten with lasting injuries. Along this violent or perceived violent continuum, victims who suffer injury are categorized and offenders are charged with either a felony or misdemeanor offense. Small- and medium- sized transit agencies can expect to have some form of assault on passengers occur periodi- cally, but usually along the lesser side of the continuum. 5. Both small- and medium-sized transit agencies must be prepared to contend with the com- mission of robberies against their passengers, although incidents of violent attacks remain infrequent. 6. Rape and other felony-related sex offenses rarely occur on transit systems. Victimization occurs when passengers become targets of opportunity. For example, during late night hours at an unoccupied, sparsely attended or closed station, or in a transit-operated park- ing lot, a perpetrator may take advantage of the seclusion to prey upon an unescorted passenger. 7. Assuring that passengers pay their fare for riding on the bus, trolley, or train has been a chronic problem for transit agencies worldwide since the inception of pay-for-service ground transportation systems. Fare evasion and fare theft are reported as major security problems at many transit systems. 8. Protecting against losses associated with the property and infrastructure of transit systems is largely a matter of controlling theft and vandalism. 9. By far the most prolific and costly occurrence of larceny from bus and rail transit systems alike is the stealing of metals including copper, mercury, brass, or iron from vehicles, facili- ties, or rights-of-way. In particular, copper, once overlooked by thieves as having little value has skyrocketed as a preferred resale metal because of a surge in price on international markets. Transit agencies offering light rail or commuter rail services are more likely targets of copper thieves because of the large amount of unprotected or minimally protected infra- structure that contain the metal. 10. Headlines across the United States continue to confirm that the vandalism of transit vehi- cles, bus shelters, and bus depots is a perpetual problem that is extremely difficult to resolve or overcome. Even with recent advances in construction materials (graffiti resistant) (anti- etch materials) losses remain in the millions of dollars with multiple events of vandalism known to occur on systems. 11. Crime or violence at a bus stop is usually a matter for investigation and resolution by local authorities. Normally a small- or medium-sized agency would not be directly impacted by an event occurring at one of these locations. However, concern about the perception of passengers that an agencyâs bus stops are unsafe could adversely impact ridership. Workplace Violence 1. Like transit passengers, transit employees, especially bus drivers, are potential victims of tran- sit crime. When crimes against person involving employees occur during working hours, the events are properly categorized as workplace violence incidents.
86 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems 2. The continuing major trend toward cashless fare collection systems and the placement of automated ticket dispensing machines in transportation is further removing the opportunity for criminals to obtain cash through dangerous confrontations like hold-ups or robberies. 3. Risk factors associated with operator assaults: a. Interacting directly with the public b. Working alone or in isolated areas c. Having a mobile workplace d. Working late night or early morning hours e. Working in high-crime areas f. Providing services to people who may be experiencing frustration (for example, with fare increases or service reductions) g. Having a workplace where access is uncontrolled h. Handling money or fares i. Having enforcement responsibilities j. Having inadequate escape routes Security Countermeasures 1. The design of a security protocol should occur only after the performance of a risk assess- ment and the development of a comprehensive security plan. Until these first steps are com- pleted insufficient data will be available to make good decisions about security strategies. 2. Consistent with emergency management principles the risk and vulnerabilities reduction measures and strategies associated with transportation sector security planning should fol- low the 5 stages of protection activity; prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Security planners should select countermeasures keeping in mind the concepts of system security, layered or overlapping security and system integration. 3. Not surprisingly, relatively few small- or medium-sized transit agencies feel the need to maintain a dedicated agency police or security force. Less than 13% of small agencies and 17% of medium-sized agencies surveyed indicated that personnel assigned specifically to perform security work were included in the operating budget. This decision not to deploy dedicated security is consistent with the crime and disorder-related findings of this research project that disclose a minimal levels security-related risk for small- and medium-sized agencies. 4. Because of the costs associated with personnel, where other types of countermeasures will sufficeâsuch as training existing personnel to perform security functions, placement of alarm systems, using access controls or deploying surveillance camerasâserious consider- ation should be given for opting for one of these types of solutions. 5. For those small- and medium-sized transit agencies whose security risks suggest that a dedicated force may be warranted the key question to be answered is whether a security presence, beyond what is available from the localeâs public safety community, is necessary to protect the system and its users. 6. Unfortunately there are very few security measures available to prevent violence from occur- ring on board a transit vehicle. Buses are not reserved. They are public open access vehicles available for use by an unrestricted general population. Buses are populated by anonymous riders who present nothing more than a fare media or card to get on board. Typically indi- viduals who represent security risks are not pre-identified or barred from riding because their propensity to violence is generally unknown. 7. There are numerous types of countermeasures that can support the maintenance of an effective deterrence and response program for on board incidents. Many of these measures are lost cost and/or low effort, consisting of policy responses, awareness and training, secu- rity planning, or coordination with local authorities.
Conclusions 87 8. Protecting vehicles consists of securing rolling stock while in transit and at rest. While there are infrequent occasions when larceny of a bus is reported, the main issue of security concern is vandalism. 9. From a security standpoint preventing, deterring, or reducing incidents of vandalism to rolling stock must take into account the nature of the criminal act including those with a proclivity to engage in the acts of window smashing or shattering, destruction of other vehicle surfaces, or graffiti. Unfortunately in many if not most instances these types of acts are committed by juvenile offenders. 10. Buildings such as administrative offices, stations, warehouses, car shops, maintenance facili- ties, plants and industrial areas, dispatch centers and fuel depots all have the potential to demand specialized individual security countermeasures or solution sets. This is even more true when environmental and operational factors such as location of the asset, area crime rates, and hours of operation are taken into account. 11. For nonpublic spaces access control, perimeter security, intrusion detection systems and other similar types of technology can be deployed to help protect facilities from external losses. However, in transit buildings that are open to the public, during hours of operation security personnel or possibly surveillance systems are the primary means of providing protection. 12. The core security issue that planners must decide upon in establishing a protective envi- ronment for the occupants, passengers, employees, retail and premises of a transit station is whether an âenforcement-onlyâ level of security is appropriate. If the occurrence of crime and/or disorder is rare or infrequent the best approach may be to establish collaboration with local authorities and first responders who have enforcement responsibility for the facility. 13. Where incidents of either crime or disorder are prevalent the transit agency should consider the deployment of proactive security forces or as an alternative real-time live-action CCTV surveillance systems. From a transit standpoint CCTV systems are currently being deployed in stations, on-board conveyancesâbuses, light rail and commuter trains, on trolleys, fer- ries and even on paratransit vehicles. The positive aspects of such systems extend beyond support of security efforts. 14. There are essentially 2 types of surveillance systems available today, those that are basic in design and those that are supported by smart technology. The tradeoff between the 2 is that basic systems that are required to perform to real-time monitoring specifications require multiple monitoring screens and stations and additional personnel, while smart systems can be designed and taught to detect events, isolate coverage and notify personnel of security- related issues.