Dallas' DART makes big hire to step up security aboard trains and TRE
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has beefed up its security team. According to a release, the transportation agency has added more than 100 contract Transit Security Officers (TSO) who will provide service on DART’s light rail vehicles and platforms, as well as the Trinity Railway Express (TRE).
The 100 temporary officers will be on the job for a year, joining a staff of 252 budgeted, AKA permanent, DART Police Officers and Fare Enforcement Officers (FEO).
The new TSOs will focus on DART Code of Conduct violations and any unlawful activities on DART property. According to Fox 4, DART police have seen an increase in crime. There are 164 trains total.
The TSO program is scheduled to be fully staffed by mid-August, but security officers can already be seen patrolling DART vehicles.
The project uses Ridership Improvement Funds approved by the DART Board of Directors to improve security, cleanliness, and reliability for riders across the 13 service area cities.
The program is part of a series of planned security improvements that DART will deploy over the next several months, including technology enhancements, physical deterrents, and partnerships to improve safety throughout the system.
The goal is safety, says DART chief of police Charles "Charlie" Cato. (He used to be "Charles" when he was police chief for Mesquite but DART rolls more casually.)
"Having a visible presence on as many of our vehicles as possible will be an important deterrent to misconduct, and I hope it also demonstrates our continued commitment to our customers to keep them safe," Cato says.