Metro introduces smart phone security app to report transit-related crimes

A screen grab from the new app as seen on an iPhone.

 

Below is the news release from Metro. Here is the link to the app in the Apple Store. And here is the link to the app in the Google Play store for Android phones.

This is very important: customers who want to report a serious crime or emergency should first, if possible, call 9-1-1 or use the emergency telephones located in Metro Rail stations. The Sheriff’s Department — which patrols the Metro system — will respond to reports from the app, but it’s always best to call.

Officials from Metro and the Sheriff’s Department also held a press event this morning at Union Station to announce the app. “My highest priority has been to enhance safety for passengers who ride Metro Rail and Metro buses,” said Metro Board of Director Chairman Michael D. Antonovich, adding the app is part and parcel of that effort.

“If the Metro system was a city, it would be the safest city in the United States,” said Metro Deputy CEO Paul Taylor. “And we’re trying to make it safer…this new tool is a way to help the public help us.”

Here is the news release:

Metro Introduces Smartphone Security App to Report Transit-Related Crimes

In a new initiative to improve safety and security on buses and trains, Metro announced today a workable smartphone app that will allow patrons to report transit-related crimes and suspicious activity that may occur throughout the Metro system.

“A vital new component in our comprehensive effort to enhance safety for our riders and operators, this smartphone app allows the public to assist law enforcement by reporting suspicious and criminal activity in a timely manner,” said Metro Board Chair Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

The new LA Metro Transit Watch smartphone app is part of the new TransitWatchLA.org website that engages the riding public to help Los Angeles County Sherriff Department (LASD) deputies and security personnel protect employees and patrons.

Metro Board of Directors Chairman Michael D. Antonovich introduces the new app. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

Metro Board of Directors Chairman Michael D. Antonovich introduces the new app. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

“With this new smartphone app, if anyone wants to report graffiti, if an elevator or escalator is not operating correctly, or if a person needs assistance, it can be reported securely and anonymously,” said Metro Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy. “Metro remains committed to providing the region with safe, clean, reliable and convenient public transit service.”

The free security application is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play for iPhone and Android devices, search LA Metro Transit Watch. Once downloaded, patrons can report suspicious activity, incidents that require law enforcement’s presence and crimes that may occur on board Metro buses and trains. The user can be connected by telephone to the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center or send a photograph via email where deputies and other professional staff receive it and respond appropriately.

The new application is continuing to be modified and improved with revised versions to be provided over the next several months. Patrons should note that Wi-Fi and cell phone connection is not available inside subway tunnels, but over the next year access will become a reality on the Metro Red/Purple lines as a carrier is secured. Cell phone access is available on board all Metro buses and light rail lines including the Metro Blue, Gold, Green, and Expo lines and on Metro buses.

Metro contracts with the LASD for security onboard all Metro buses and trains throughout L.A. County as well as providing security for major transportation facilities.

“We have had great success keeping the riding public and Metro employees safe and adding another tool to our toolbox is enormously helpful,” said Transit Services Bureau Commander Ronene Anda.

Anda noted that incidents of serious crime are .30 per 100,000 boardings. She added that recent high-profile

part, through public help. “Of the 32 assaults on bus and train operators this year, we have arrests in 16 of those crimes. Members of the public stepping forward with critical information made the difference,” she said.

As part of Metro’s ongoing safety and security campaign, this new app is an addition to many other security improvements, including the installation of surveillance cameras and the latching of turnstiles on the Red/Purple lines. Most importantly, it engages and empowers the public to take action and report suspicious behavior and crimes.

Patrons traveling on Metro trains can also alert authorities to incidents by pushing the emergency intercoms on all rail cars and stations or alert on-duty LASD deputies and Metro employees at rail stations and on board buses.Users of the LA Metro Transit Watch app with suggestions for improving it are encouraged to send their ideas to customerrelations@metro.net and write METRO TRANSIT WATCH in the subject field to call attention to it.

 

LASD Commander Ronene M. Anda shows the new app to the media at Union Station on Wednesday morning. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

LASD Commander Ronene M. Anda shows the new app to the media at Union Station on Wednesday morning. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

 

10 replies

  1. App seems useful. Might help if there were a “test” mode so that we could actually go through the process of reporting something without actually submitting a false report.

    None of the feeds in the “Alerts” section load, except for Service Advisories. “Expected status code in (200-299) got 410.”

    Also, the Rail Construction Map under the “More” section is the old one, not the recently updated one.

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  2. Can we get 3G in the subway yet? I see stuff go down on the Red Line all the time, but the lack of connectivity makes reporting it in a timely manner difficult.

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  3. “this new tool is a way to help the public help us.”

    HA! What a hypocrisy! And yet when the public films corrupt police officers doing bad things, they go on the offensive to demand smartphones to be shut off and concoct BS things like invasion of privacy, being in contempt with the law, disobeying a police officer, the “9-11 Law” or wiretapping laws.

    The police: “you can film any suspicious activity so long it’s not us doing the bad things.”

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  4. I rarely see Sheriffs/Metro Security on the train at night (ex: the Red line). I mostly see them during commuting hours in the station or on the trains for the Red and Expo lines to check valid fares. I feel there needs to be more of a physical presence later in the evening/night.

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  5. Wait, I thought taking pictures on Metro was “Surveilling for Terrorists” on the eyes of the LASD? Well, I guess Metro is throwing in the towel on the Shawn Nee lawsuit, then?

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  6. Reminds me of the Colbert Report incident where a man in NY was arrested for taking photos of Amtrak trains…because he was trying to take a photo for an Amtrak photo contest.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28about.html?_r=0

    One hand of government says taking photos is okay and should be encouraged.

    The other hand of government says taking photos is a no-no because it may aid terrorists.

    Doth stupidity in government keeps getting better and better everyday.

    Ben Franklin said it best, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

    I think it’s time we come back to our senses. “I’d give anything for security” mindset is not making us safer or making our lives better, it’s only making our life worse and making everyone mistrust even our own fellow Americans.

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  7. I see stupidity everyday with those TSA workers at LAX. This ain’t the land of the free no more. It’s the land of NSA watching everything you do, spying on you, and no one trusting anyone. Everyone is a terrorist, including eight year olds and wheelchair bound grandmas. Ridiculous!

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