By Dan Lieberman, @LiebermanTweets
Hollywood has yet to make a Law & Order spinoff about the men and women who investigate crime on transit corridors, so it’s up to us to tell you about the Transit Police (dun, dun).
Since 2002, Caltrain and SamTrans have contracted with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office to meet the law enforcement needs of the two systems. Led by Lieutenant Victoria O’Brien, the Transit Police consist of two Sergeants, one Detective, two Special Enforcement Deputies, five Transit Patrol Deputies, Three K-9 Handlers, a Special Enforcement Officer and a Management Analyst.
These officers are responsible for buses, vehicles, kiosks and facilities operated by SamTrans, in addition to all Caltrain rail equipment, stations, right-of-ways and facilities throughout the entire corridor. They are tasked with investigating any crimes, collisions, accidents and fatalities that occur on either system, as well as providing security for special events.
All officers are required to take Roadway Worker Protection Training as required by the Federal Transit Administration, as well as Crisis Intervention Training, and participate in emergency response drills with Transit American Services, Inc., the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services and local police and fire departments. In addition, the Transit Police have been partnering with homeless advocacy groups and mental health services to help provide assistance to homeless people who are encamped along the Caltrain right-of-way.
The Transit Police are a vital component of SamTrans and Caltrain service, ensuring that the tens of thousands of people who rely on these systems to get them where they need to go can do so safely and securely. The San Mateo County Transit District is lucky to have them and proud of their record of service.