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Rider's Almanac Blog

To maintain safety, we must build trust and build our team

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, July 15, 2021 9:27:00 AM

From Police Chief Eddie Frizell

To maintain a safe and secure transit system, we must have community trust, strong partnerships, and a sincere commitment to listening and learning. We also need to have the right people in the right places.

To build our team, we are embarking on a significant recruitment and hiring effort that will help our department proactively address safety concerns and create the kind of environment riders and frontline staff deserve.

All of us at Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council recognize how important this mission has always been, and the critical role it plays in our effort to emerge from the pandemic as a stronger, better service provider.

In practice, our recruitment and hiring efforts are aimed at:

  • Building a team of up to 70 part-time Community Services Officers (CSOs) and expanding their duties to include validating fares, educating riders, and working alongside police officers as they grow into law enforcement careers.
  • Dedicating 11 staff – a team of sworn officers and civilians – to monitoring surveillance cameras in real time so officers can spend more time spotting and guiding responses to problems on light rail vehicles, light rail stations and other busy boarding areas.
  • Recruiting and hiring an additional 10 police officers so we are better equipped to patrol and respond to serious incidents.

I am grateful for the investments that are being made in our department, and optimistic that these additional resources will meaningfully improve the experience our customers and frontline staff have while on transit.

But I am also aware that pledging to expand our department is a beginning and not an end.

As we build our team, we must clearly articulate our values and emphasize them throughout the recruitment, hiring and training process.

We must continue to strengthen partnerships with service providers and other organizations that are committed to addressing the root causes of criminal behavior and other issues that require police attention, including homelessness and mental illness.

And we must remain open to new ideas and new approaches from the communities we serve.

While I am eager for our department to grow, I also want to commend all the officers and support staff from across the organization whose work has set the stage for our next chapter.    

We’ve come an incredibly long way for such a relatively young department, and I couldn’t be prouder to serve as Metro Transit’s police chief.

Addressing the challenges in front of us won’t be easy. But, together, I know our department, Metro Transit, and the Metropolitan Council can build on this strong foundation and continue moving in the right direction.

Know someone considering a law enforcement career?

Metro Transit is hiring Community Service Officers on an ongoing basis. CSO candidates must be enrolled in an accredited college or university program seeking a degree in a law enforcement related field. Review the job posting here.

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Learn more about efforts to expand and improve public safety measures, including the Real Time Information Center, the K-9 unit, Homeless Action Team and Community Service Officers at

How we’re creating a stronger, better transit system

Efforts to enhance public safety on transit are part of a broader effort to emerge from the pandemic as a stronger, better and more responsive transit agency. In addition to this work, we are making service improvements in late-August, continuing efforts to improve bus stops and provide faster service, and expanding our commitment to cleaning and maintaining our public facilities.