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Metro may add officers at bus facilities

A committee of Metro's board of directors approved a plan to hire 17 special police officers to bolster security at Metrobus facilities in the Washington region.

Officials said the additional officers would allow for 24-hour coverage without overtime. The transit authority has 132 special police officers who provide security at Metro facilities. Metro said the annual cost of the new officers would be $900,000.

In July, 19-year-old William Jackson of the District, drove off in a bus, according to charging documents. He pleaded guilty last month in D.C. Superior Court to one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The Finance and Administration Committee also gave a nod to extend Metro's participation in a K-9 explosives detection program from the Transportation Security Administration for five years. The TSA will provide a $1 million grant to Metro to maintain five K-9 teams. The TSA gave Metro a grant in 2005 to initiate the program.

"Adding officers and continuing our K9 force will allow Metro to continue its all important work of minimizing its security risks and preventing unsafe situations at its facilities," Mortimer Downey, a member of the board of directors appointed this year by the Obama administration, said in a statement. "By enhancing security at our facilities, we are providing additional safety for our customers and employees."

The board of directors will consider both plans at its regular meeting on Oct. 28.

In September Metro said it would use an $18.6 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to help it prevent unauthorized people from driving off in its buses and to improve security at its yards.

By Michael Bolden  | October 14, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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