Metro is accepting applications beginning Monday, October 19, for members of the public who want to join a new Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). This is an excellent opportunity to help shape the policing of the Metro transit system to ensure that our security focuses on what you think is important — and that policing is done fairly and equitably toward all people.
Detailed information on how to apply is on the PSAC page on metro.net and more info is below.
Following the protests for racial justice earlier this year, the Metro Board of Directors sought recommendations from Metro’s System Security and Law Enforcement Department on: 1) ways to reform the agency’s policing practices, and; 2) reallocating resources typically devoted to policing to other forms of community safety.
The Board’s motion explains why:
On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was killed in her home by a Louisville police officer who was carrying out a search warrant in the middle of the night. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. These deaths and many before them, including here in Los Angeles, have sparked demonstrations for racial justice and a national conversation about the appropriate role of police in our society and the particular threats faced by Black people during interactions with law enforcement.
Community leaders are calling for a shift in how agencies deliver public safety at every level of government. This includes reforming police practices as well as reallocating resources typically devoted to policing to other forms of community safety. In a transit environment, safety is typically provided through design, staff presence, aid station access, and law enforcement. Given recent events, it is prudent for Metro to reevaluate its safety strategies to ensure it is meeting the needs and expectations of our riders. Metro is working in partnership with community leaders to re-envision transit safety and community-based approaches to policing leading up to and as part of the 2022 renewal of the multiagency police contract.
The establishment of a Public Safety Advisory Committee will give Metro the opportunity to consult with key law enforcement and related community members to develop a more accountable culture of policing for its upcoming police contract. Metro’s current contract with the Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is up for renewal in 2022.
The application period to serve on the committee will be open from Monday, Oct. 19, through the close of business on Friday, Nov. 13. Community participation is voluntary and applicants should be non-Metro employees who:
•Are a regular rider of Metro buses and/or trains.
•Are committed to ensuring that Metro follows best practices for providing service that is safe and feels safe for its customers.
•Bring relevant knowledge and expertise as a resident, advocate for racial justice and/or public safety reform, law enforcement expert, mental health provider or expert, or social services provider or expert.
Applications can be filled out and submitted online here. They can also be submitted via email, dropped off at Metro Customer Centers during business hours (click here for locations) or mailed to:
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Attn: Public Safety Committee, 25th Floor
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Metro is seeking 15 community members and three alternates in addition to three members who will represent Metro bus/rail operators and maintenance/cleaning. Applicants should plan to be committed to participate in the committee until June 2022.
Some other questions you might have:
What other Metro Departments are involved in this effort?
Metro’s System Security and Law Enforcement Department will engage Metro’s Office of Civil Rights, Office of Equity and Race and its Office of Customer Experience to develop this new community-based approach.
Where does Metro stand in regard to racial justice issues?
Metro believes in liberty and justice for all and stands against systematic racism and senseless violence in all forms. We concurred with and understand those who protested for racial justice and equality and against police brutality earlier this year. Metro’s programs greatly reinforce this agenda, including our Board-adopted Equity Program and Women and Girls Governing Council. Metro has also established an Office of Civil Rights as well as an Office of Equity and Race to help ensure our system supports the rights of all our transit riders.
How will members be selected?
Applications will be reviewed by the Chief System Security and Law Enforcement Officer, Chief Civil Rights Officer, Executive Officer for Equity and Race, Executive Officer for Customer Experience, Chief Communications Officer, and Chief of Staff. A separate application process will be utilized to the select the three non-voting (ex-officio) Metro employees representing Metro bus/rail operators and maintenance/cleaning.
The Metro Board motion that created the committee is below and is a good and useful read.
Categories: Policy & Funding
Are we going to lower the age requirement for becoming a bus or rail operator to 18 yet?