Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Big Blue Bus Institutes Unarmed "Safety Officers"

The officers will be able to "educate" riders about the bus company's code of conduct and "ensure adherence."

March 1, 2024 - Big Blue Bus, the bus line that operates in Santa Monica, announced they will be deploying "safety officers" on high-traffic routes and selected bus stops. The "friendly, contracted officers" will be unarmed.

Despite the lack of weapons, Big Blue Bus claims the officers will be able to "educate" riders about the bus company's code of conduct and "ensure adherence." The company says the introduction of the safety officers is one of several initiatives to help riders feel "comfortable and confident."

The officers are being supplied by Good Guard Security, who are also charged with providing security for the city's parking and adjacent areas in a $2.2 million, 5-½ year deal. The Santa Monica City Council believes the guards resulted in a decrease in calls for service and calls regarding car burglary in the garages. No information exists on whether the public are more willing to use the city's garages, where murders have occurred. Making matters worse, pay stations are often broken, causing delays as drivers attempt to exit - delays that make drivers vulnerable to attack.

The introduction of safety officers on the Blue Bus system may be a response to widespread public perception that public transit, including the train and buses, is not safe. Individuals who are clearly under the influence of drugs or who are planning theft or drug deals are known to inhabit the Los Angeles area transit system, largely unhindered. Signs on the Metro train warn passengers to hide valuables and not even use cell phones. Almost one hundred percent of the homeless in the area are armed with a weapon of some sort, from makeshift shivs to actual firearms.

It is unknown if unarmed safety officers will have much more effect on the public transit system than they do in our public parks, where drug addicts now own the territory, and it can no longer safely be used by others.


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