The Metro Vancouver Transit Police is looking to add more boots on the ground.
The force is looking to add eight more officers and one civilian crime analyst to the payroll.
The extra resources are needed to manage increased transit ridership and the growing workload created by the launch of the Evergreen line, according to Transit police chief Doug LePard.
“That allows us to have greater capacity overall but really that’s what we all agreed we needed to look at what workload was created by those six new stations,” he said.
“With 34,000 riders a day on that new extension there is additional work for us and we need to because one of our most important strategies is high visibility and being proactive.”
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The transit police force currently employs 175 officers, and the new positions would add about $1 million in costs to the force’s budget, LePard said.
The chief also provided an update on the force’s efforts to crack down on sexual assault and harassment on transit.
According to LePard, transit police currently have a 72 per cent success rate in solving sex offences that take place on the transit system.
But LePard acknowledged that the numbers may not tell the whole story, with crimes of this nature often going unreported.
“We want the public, and women particularly and girls, to understand their complaint will be taken seriously, that we will investigate it very thoroughly,” he said.
“It’s one of our four operational priorities.”
The transit police’s latest statistics show that there were 298 sexual offences on the transit system in 2016.