ST. LOUIS, MO/May 19, 2017 (STL.News) Regional leaders are uniting to combat the on-going crime on MetroLink trains and at stations.
On Thursday, a Memorandum of Understanding or “MOU” was-signed by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and presented to Bi-State Development President and CEO John Nations for his signature.
The agreement was unveiled during a public hearing called by the St. Louis County Council to address safety and security issues on MetroLink. It ultimately calls for a joint police task force to oversee security on the light rail system. It would consist of law enforcement from all three jurisdictions: St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County. It would also establish a command center at 5977 Delmar Boulevard near the Delmar Loop MetroLink stop at Washington University.
Nations said he likes the concepts of this plan. “I agree with the jurisdictions that having a unified command and having police officers on the train in uniform would certainly improve safety on the system. I’m delighted that they’re willing to do that.”
Nations said he would have to fully review the MOU before signing the document.
Another aspect of the plan calls for law enforcement to be in command of security and not a private security company.
A series of meetings to gather public input on the matter are planned in the coming months.
This agreement between the three jurisdictions is in response to crime that has plagued the light rail system, especially in recent months. In fact, just a couple of hours before the public hearing, a robbery was reported at the Clayton MetroLink station.
Police say a man was robbed at gunpoint by two male suspects on the platform at just after 1p.m. The suspects took off on foot after taking the victim’s money. The suspects were apprehended by police a short time later. The victim was unharmed in the robbery. The names of the suspects are being withheld pending charges.