Edmonton adds more security guards, surveillance cameras to transit system

File: Edmonton Transit Service's Southgate LRT Station on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Global News

In response to an increase of harassment, discrimination and crime at some transit centres, the City of Edmonton is adding more security measures.

The changes will take effect Saturday, Feb. 27 at 5:30 a.m., the city said in a news release.

Read more: Another Black Muslim woman threatened at Edmonton transit station

Ten additional security guards are being deployed to transit facilities “based on intelligence-led data.”

These guards will compliment the team already monitoring the 19 LRT and transit stations.

“Security guards have direct access to the ETS Control Centre that can dispatch transit peace officers, or the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), if needed,” the city said.

Read more: Edmonton woman assaulted on LRT wants to know why help took so long

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The team will have access to additional video surveillance via CCTV security cameras on transit “to proactively monitor facilities.”

“These enhanced measures will be in place for two months, and be actively monitored and evaluated to ensure resources are being deployed to key locations to prevent and address issues when they arise,” the city said.

Security measures are being boosted to make sure transit is safe for passengers and staff.

Click to play video: '2 women recovering after hate-motivated attack in Southgate Centre parking lot' 2 women recovering after hate-motivated attack in Southgate Centre parking lot
2 women recovering after hate-motivated attack in Southgate Centre parking lot – Dec 10, 2020

Over the last three months, there have been a number of attacks on Black women wearing hijabs at Edmonton transit stations.

“We will not tolerate any form of racism or violence and we encourage Edmontonians to contact authorities if they see something suspicious or inappropriate,” the city said.

Read more: Edmonton police charge man after ‘hate-motivated’ attack outside Southgate Centre

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“As a Safe City, ETS and partners are committed to ending gender-based violence against women and girls in all their diversity in public spaces. ETS is also continuing its community collaboration with diverse groups this year in order to develop community-based action plans that will further enhance safety and security on transit.”

Read more: Edmonton transit using ‘gender-based techniques’ to enhance safety and security

In addition to the enhanced safety measures, other initiatives in place include:

  • Proactive patrols on transit (EPS, community engagement teams, transit peace officers) to educate, liaise with support services
  • Blue emergency phones in LRT stations and transit centres
  • Push buttons on LRT cars
  • New Transit Watch text message service — a discreet way to contact ETS Control Centre (text or call 780-442-4900)
  • More than 3,900 surveillance cameras

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