Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says an additional layer of security, including more permanent police patrols and security cameras, will soon make CTA bus and train stations safer.
The mayor recently re-announced the installation of 1,500 new surveillance cameras for the transit system and 50 more Chicago cops to be permanently detailed to the CTA.
"So people going to and from work or from neighborhood to neighborhood can feel safe and not worry about it," said Mayor Emanuel.
Fifty new academy graduates will be hired to sustain the current overall city police force level. The CTA will pay for the full-time cops with $10 million it already spends to hire part time armed security.
During the past year, CTA has seen an upsurge in crime, ranging from iPhone thievery to the murder of 68-year-old Sally Katona King who was pushed down an "L" stop stairway by a suspected pickpocket.
CTA President Forrest Claypool is not concerned that his cash-strapped agency must spend more for security. "Budgets are about priorities. Safety and security are the number one priority for Mayor Emanuel. It's the number priority for me at the CTA," he said.
Claypool has noted the death of Sally Katona King, the grandmother who was pushed down the stairs at a CTA platform by a fleeing robber. It was not caught on camera. Now there are 1,500 hundred cameras. Three thousand will be up by the end of December.