Safety and security on Metro: get to know LAPD

Earlier this year, Metro’s Board of Directors approved a new contract to increase the police’s presence on Metro. Since then, the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments have joined the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in patrolling the Metro system.

In this four-part series on safety and security we’ll be introducing you to our law enforcement partners. First up is LAPD, whom you may have seen around stations and on trains and buses in the part of the Metro system within the city of Los Angeles. Senior Lead Officers Camille Sosa and Andrew Cullen provide some tips on how to stay safe in transit.

If you ever encounter or witness a situation that you feel is dangerous or makes you feel unsafe, please call security right away at 888.950.7233. If it’s an emergency, dial 9-1-1. You can alert Metro staff to incidents by using the train intercom or station intercoms marked by red signs on station platforms. You can also make reports anonymously and upload photos or video with the Transit Watch app

If you’re not able to report a crime immediately, try to get to a safe location and then make the call. Please keep in mind our Twitter feeds are not staffed 24/7 — while we do our best to assist when we’re able, it’s always best to directly report incidents right away to law enforcement.

11 replies

    • Hi,

      The Transit Watch app allows real time text messaging with a dispatcher.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

      • Anna Chen, that app has been buggy for years. It intentionally (yes, I checked with the developer) omits certain categories of banned behavior, such as fare evasion.

        Two wannabe preachers were screaming antisemitic, racist remarks in my face on the gold line today.

        I made a report minutes earlier, checked my phone after. App crashed.

        I was in the front car, within earshot of the conductor, who did nothing.
        A passenger pressed the emergency button, conductor still did nothing.

        It took other passengers shouting back at them for them to disembark.

        So, how do any of these safety tips apply to me?

        • Hi,

          I’m sorry about this experience. It’s true the previous app did not work well and always crashed, but the updated version of the app works. I’ve used it myself and have uploaded photos and talked to dispatchers. Operators may use silent alarm to alert law enforcement. For the safety of the entire train, they are not always able to engage. I agree that there needs to be continual improvement on how we can connect riders with law enforcement when incidents occur, and hope you will take the time to send additional feedback to our Board of Directors here.

          Thank you,

          Anna Chen
          Writer, The Source

      • So, off the off chance we might need to contact security, we have to preinstall an app? Really? Why not have a dedicated txt line? If someone does not feel safe to actually talk on the phone, do you think that they will have time to find, download, and install an app?

        • Hi,

          We don’t have a dedicated text line because our law enforcement partners currently don’t accept standard text message reports. At this time, the Transit Watch app is the only platform that supports text reports, so we’re reminding folks that it’s an option and to pre-install it if possible, just as we hope you’ll also save the hotline number as a contact.

          Thank you,

          Anna Chen
          Writer, The Source

  1. Speaking of using phones and Metro, when is AT&T and Metro going to shake hands for the subway lines? As is, to use the Transit Watch app will take however long for me to get to my stop, exit the train station, and get reception again.

  2. On Friday the 24th, I (a retired man) was standing next to the exit door on a northbound Blue Line train waiting to exit at 7th St. Station at about 4:00 p.m., when a young man in a seat next to the door, who appeared intoxicated, began to curse me under his breath (apparently for racial reasons, as nearly as I could tell from what I could hear). He proceeded ostentatiously to clear his throat twice and spit toward me. Other than the embarrassment of having spittle hit my leg (I was wearing shorts because of the hot day), I was not particularly bothered, but I noted that there was no police present on this important platform at that time.

    Frankly, between having to travel with passengers who are drunken or high or mentally disturbed (or combinations of these, especially later at night) and enduring those who are yelling, fighting, or wandering through the cars, it is hard to see why anyone would want to risk riding the Blue Line–especially considering that one hardly ever sees any deputy from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department on the Blue Line in their area of jurisdiction (south of Washington Station).

  3. I have noticed the significant increase in law enforcement presence on all forms of Metro since LAPD took over, and I am very satisfied with the improvement. They are much more visible and more active. Sheriffs used to stand around, LAPD walking platform and talking to riders. I appreciate the improvement and I think this was a huge step forward for Metro.

    • I second this, and also want to add that the LAPD seem a lot less aggressive when enforcing fare checks. They also seem to have much more presence than the Sheriffs did.