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Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems (2015)

Chapter: Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing

« Previous: Chapter 5 - Transit Crime and Security Problems
Page 45
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
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Page 45
Page 46
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 46
Page 47
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 47
Page 48
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 48
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 49
Page 50
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 50
Page 51
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Police and Security Staffing." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 51

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45 C H A P T E R 6 Security Forces Decisions about the deployment of security forces can be difficult for transit agencies that are experiencing security-related problems at either their stations, on board conveyances, or along their routes. The reason is that adding personnel for any purpose is often the most costly oper- ating expenditure that the agency will face. It is therefore prudent for small- and medium-sized transit agencies to exercise caution in determining security personnel requirements. 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 consis- tent 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. Typically small agencies depend exclusively upon local law enforcement random patrol for security support. Only one agency out of 62 reported hiring an off-duty police officer part-time to work on property. Forty percent (40%) of medium-sized agencies utilize either local police on dedicated patrol; a mixture of local police and contracted security; or off-duty, part-time police personnel. See Table 6.1. Expenditures for overall security parallel the statistics with roughly half of both small- and medium-sized agencies reporting that they do not have a budget for security. Agencies that do budget for security generally spend less than $25,000 on an annual basis. See Figure 6.1. As mentioned previously and as graphically portrayed in the Security Countermeasures Cost Scale below, Figure 6.2, the costs associated with deploying personnel can be the most expensive security countermeasure a transit agency can undertake, but clearly, depending on the threats and unresolved vulnerabilities facing the organization, security personnel are often the most critical and significant resource available to reduce security-related risk. Unlike any other secu- rity countermeasure or technology, personnel provide the one vital capability for which there is no substitution—the ability to comprehend and apply reason. Security personnel bring the capacity to perceive the true nature of a threat and to recognize ongoing aggressor tactics. When adequately armed or reinforced, they can repel or overcome the use of deadly force by respond- ing with equal or greater force to neutralize the threat or activity. This factor alone is predomi- nate in both the homeland security and public safety context. Absent a response force, aggressors or criminals would quickly disregard other security countermeasures as irrelevant. Determining the necessity for security personnel or the extent to which forces should be deployed is dependent upon the nature of the threats facing the agency, primarily based on issues such as size, population served, and operating locale. Statistics support a view that transit Police and Security Staffing

46 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems systems operating in high density population areas are likely at higher risk of crime or dis order than more rural systems. For example, FBI crime statistics recorded for calendar year 2009 dis- closed that of the 806,843 total aggravated assaults committed, 701,454 (86.9%) occurred in metropolitan areas; 57,750 (7.2%) occurred in cities outside metropolitan areas; and 47,639 (5.9%) occurred in nonmetropolitan counties. Rates of aggravated assault were greatest in the South (44.5%). The Northeast (14.2%), Midwest (18.9%), and Western (22.5%) regions of the United States all have lower aggravated assault rates. Other external factors also impact on security personnel decisions such as the availability of public safety response personnel in the operating area, what users or customers expect to see in terms of security, or whether other organizations in the industry use security personnel. Internal factors such as the agency’s history of deploying security forces or whether the organizational culture is tolerant of security restrictions will also have bearing. As depicted in Figure 6.3, small- and medium-sized agency decision makers have an initial— spend or don’t spend—hurdle to clear in thinking about security personnel deployment. When Figure 6.2. Security countermeasures cost scale (Frazier et al. 2009). SECURITY PERSONNEL SMALL MEDIUM Local Police Random Patrol 95% 77% Contracted Security and Dedicated Local Police Patrol 1% 30% Off-Duty Police Part-Time >1% 9% Table 6.1. Security personnel. $0 - No Budget for Security Less than 25k $26k - $75k $76k - $150k $151k - $225k $226k - $499k Over $500k Figure 6.1. Police and security staff annual budget.

Police and Security Staffing 47 the risks associated with crime or disorder rates are low or minimal, it is perfectly rational for a transit agency to decide that deploying a dedicated security force is not a cost-effective utilization of limited resources. In such circumstances, the agency should also be cognizant that isolated high-profile security events or incidents of major or serious crime may occur. If and when such events or incidents occur, the affected agency should be prepared to evaluate the impact of the occurrence on prior decisions and balance the security risk, including possible passenger or employee perceptions of a lack of security that may result. Note that spending operating dol- lars on security labor can be an easy decision for the agency to make at the outset, but a much harder decision to amend or withdraw. Those agencies that have previously deployed a security force can attest to the difficulties associated with eliminating a security presence even when that Figure 6.3. Transportation security force planning flowchart (Frazier et al. 2009).

48 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems presence is no longer warranted. For this reason, any agency that has not yet made an invest- ment in sustaining a security force will ideally use great care in ensuring that the rationale for security personnel staffing is objective and consistent with both an established threat profile and other organizational needs and requirements. In the event that the agency determines that a security force is not required, a periodic review of this decision should be made in conjunction with ensuing risk assessments performed. The agency should also work toward achieving a writ- ten plan of security operations that documents the public safety service level and response contemplated. For those small- and medium-sized transit agencies whose security risks suggest that a dedi- cated force may be warranted, the key question to be answered is whether a security presence, beyond what is available from the locale’s public safety community, is necessary to protect the system and its users. Answering this question will require significant interaction with local law enforcement authorities to establish the level of protection and response to security incidents that can be expected. The transit agency should be prepared to discuss its operating character- istics, routes, staffing and other pertinent information with law enforcement representatives to assist in determining threats, vulnerabilities, and potential loss-related impacts of security events occurring on the system. Figure 6.3 also describes relevant decision points for a transit agency that has objectively determined that dedicated security forces are required to protect its passengers, assets, and criti- cal infrastructure. The diagram shows that there are a number of planning options that should be analyzed, starting with an assessment of what type of security personnel and equipment should be deployed. The tradeoffs associated with these options have significant bearing on the transit agency’s overall security posture. At one end of the available choices is the deployment of unarmed, part- time security officers, with no arrest authority. At the other end is the fielding of a full-time, armed police department with powers of arrest. Where the agency falls on this decision line will impact on the capabilities of not just the security labor force but also the performance and effectiveness of all other integrated system security countermeasures. For those small- and medium-sized agencies that determine that a police presence is required, there are a number of representative approaches for deployment that should be considered. TCRP Web Document 15 (Project F-6): Contractor’s Final Report: Guidelines for the Effective Use of Uniformed Transit Police and Security Personnel (Interactive Elements, Incorporated 1997) provides excellent examples of police deployment programs at some of the larger transit agencies in the United States. In some of the cases contracted, police were deployed. In others, a dedicated transit agency police force provided the response to the problem. The principal findings of the study were field-tested recommendations and guidelines for police and security management of parking lots, station quality-of-life concerns, and on-board, order-maintenance difficulties. Table 6.2 contains a synopsis of the programs. Although the information is somewhat dated the activities referenced remain consistent with transit policing problems and issues today. In fact many of the programs, or similar approaches to those listed continue to be utilized. Irrespective of what underlying qualitative factors drive the decision about fielding security per- sonnel, the best way to accurately make staffing level determinations is through the use of quantita- tive analysis. The FTA’s Security Manpower Planning Model (SMPM) (Blake and Uccardi 2008) is a tool available to small- and medium-sized transit agencies to assist in making this determination. SMPM is an easy to use “what if” spreadsheet workbook available online at the FTA’s website. It supports the entry of scenario-based data depicting police or security officer coverage levels. Inputs regarding the potential contracted use of security agency or part-time police personnel can also be entered along with fields for budget data that can be entered to establish summary costs that track

Police and Security Staffing 49 to the selected scenario(s). The SMPM is a Microsoft Excel file that was developed using Excel 2003. All display and program menu items in this manual were written based on the behavior of the model under this version. The model is working and can be accessed at http://www.fta.dot. gov/TSO/12527_13860.html as of July 2014. See Figure 6.4. The SMPM Instruction Manual, also available on the FTA website, states that The SMPM is a flexible decision support tool created to enable transit security planners the ability to assess impacts of strategic decisions on resources and staffing. Based on the data inputted, the model identifies staffing levels and budgeting. The SMPM is flexible in the sense that it can be used by any transit agency with existing or planned security resources, regardless of operating mode(s) or size. Further, the Agency Name, Program Area and Approach Commentary MARTA Police Department (Atlanta) Security Challenges: A Focus on Park-N-Rides The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) implemented bike patrols as a way to enhance visibility of officers at Lindbergh Staon, a heavy rail staon that is also a bus transfer point with 1,167 parking spaces in its open lot and 306 spaces in its parking deck. The staon was the scene of a large number of the‚s of and from autos. The strategy of assigning 2 uniformed officers on bike patrol resulted in a drop of 58.3 percent in Part I crimes during the test period. LIRR Police Department (New York) Auto Crime Unit: A Response to Parking Lot Crime The Long Island Rail Road (now MTA NY), developed a team of plainclothes officers to respond to escalang problems of auto the‚. This apprehension- oriented unit of police officers made use of surveillance teams and borrowed vehicles to preclude easy recognion, but also used such problem-oriented techniques as commuter educaon and a Combat Auto The‚ program to confront the‚s. MetroLink (Los Angeles) Local Police Response to Park-N-Ride Crime MetroLink, the Los Angeles metropolitan area's commuter rail system, is policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Patrolling parking lots, though, is the responsibility of individual, local police departments. However, responding to a small amount of crime that was alarming to residents, the Claremont Police Department assigned a non-sworn, uniformed officer with a marked patrol car to a fixed post in the lot adjoining the historic rail staon. Crime dropped to zero. San Diego Trolley System (San Diego) Comparing Security Percep€ons and Storefront Patrol Faced with concerns by cizens that an extension of the San Diego Trolley to Santee would result in increased crime and disorder in their town, city managers contracted with the San Diego Sheriff's Department to staff a storefront substaon. They also incorporated numerous Crime Prevenon Through Environmental Design (CPTED) elements into the staon. The resulng absence of crime and disorder was in contrast to the El Cajon Staon, an older facility that suffered visible blight and that received no special ašenon at the me of its opening. The problems of recapturing the quality-of-life of a locaon were contrasted with steps to prevent disorder before it begins. NYPD (New York) Uniformed Officers Board Buses Uniformed New York City police officers rode or boarded buses in 2 boroughs to test the effects of this tacc on transit crime. A comparison of the 3-month test periods with the 2 previous years showed a drop in both criminal and non-criminal reported incidents. Although uniformed police officers are a rare sight on New York City buses, this test of police officer visibility ašracted neither patron nor media comment. Houston Metro Police (Houston) Riding the Bus: Community Policing for Transit Houston's Metro Police assigned an officer to ride 2 bus lines sharing the same transfer point for 3 hours each week day. Crime and disorderly behavior was reduced substanally, but, more important, the officer's interacons with operators, patrons, teenagers, school officials, and business people along the routes are classic examples of the philosophy of community policing. This case study presents a specific methodology for incorporang proacve patrol into the transit environment. Table 6.2. Police deployment programs at larger transit agencies.

50 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems model can assist security planners in assessing impacts of various scenarios on resource and deployment strategies including: Changes in revenue service operations (e.g., adding a new rail line, re-structuring existing routes, or special event service planning). Changes in ridership patterns, crime/incident rates and threat information. Changes in security personnel configurations (e.g., alternative mixes of internal/external security resources). Changes in how security forces are deployed. Adjustments to security coverage levels. Implementation of proof-of-payment fare enforcement or other related security duties. Quantification of required security staffing levels may also be accomplished through the use of 1 or both of 2 alternative sets of data that should be available to the transit agency: (1) crime incident-based information, including both calls for service and self-initiated incident responses, and/or (2) security breach and scenario-driven information. • Crime and Disorder Incident-Based Information—The first type of quantification requires close coordination with local law enforcement in the acquisition of crime and incident infor- mation. The law enforcement agency must have the ability to isolate transit agency calls for service and crime reports from those of the general jurisdictional area. This method, which is based on the capture and recording of actual security events is highly preferred as the means to correctly establish security personnel staffing levels, and perhaps more importantly, the true and accurate determination of the transit agency’s security profile and risk. • Security Breach Information—As mentioned previously, it is fortunate that from the quality of service perspective, most small- and medium-sized transit agencies experience a low level of Figure 6.4. SMPM home screen.

Police and Security Staffing 51 serious criminal incidents. Known as “Part 1 Crimes” in conformance with FBI UCR charac- terization criteria, crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and arson occur so infrequently that the rate is often statistically insignificant from a crimes analysis stand- point. When the situation exists where quantifying serious crime data is inadequate to assist in establishing needed security staffing levels, the transit agency may be required to maintain its own records about the occurrence of lesser crimes and security incidents, including events such as public intoxication, trespass, fare evasion, vandalism, petit larceny, vagrancy, gang activ- ity, disorderly conduct, or other security breaches on the system. In some instances, this may require the centralization of claims-related data, employee notifications, communications or dispatch center records, unusual occurrence reports, customer complaint information, labor union grievance submissions, or supervisor activity reports. Activity and occurrences can then be broken down by location, time of day, day of week, and other criteria. The information is then measured against acceptable standards as established by agency leadership at a level where risk is maintained within tolerable limits. By extending this concept of data collection productivity quantification to those security- related issues that are most important to the agency, security planners can reasonably approxi- mate how large the security force should be. It is worth repeating that other qualitative factors such as prior existing assignments of security or police to a given location will also have an impact on staffing decisions, but these subjective criteria should be recognized as an inefficient, albeit sometimes necessary method of allocating security forces. By assimilating threat assess- ment information into the productivity-driven quantification method discussed above, security planners can merge risk data with security operations data to minimize security vulnerabilities while at the same time obtaining a reasonable approximation of security force workflow.

Next: Chapter 7 - Security Countermeasures »
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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 180: Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems explores the current state of practice and identifies and responds to the specific challenges and issues associated with the security of small- and medium-sized transit agencies. The report follows the five stages of protection activity (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) by providing baseline options and identifying potential security countermeasures that could be deployed by both of these sizes of transit agencies.

The report is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

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