Motivated by the George Floyd social justice protests this year, Metro has announced it is launching a new Public Safety Advisory Committee to help “re-envision” public safety on our transit system. The agency is currently seeking community volunteers to join the committee.
According to Metro:
“The PSAC will work with Metro’s System Security and Law Enforcement, Office of Civil Rights, Office for Equity and Race and the Executive Officer for Customer Experience in developing a community-based approach to public safety on the transit system. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Developing a mission and values statement for transit policing.
- Developing a transit ambassador program that provides staff presence at Metro facilities and on Metro vehicles.
- Identifying alternatives to armed law enforcement response to nonviolent crimes and code of conduct violations.
- Enhancing greater community stewardship of transit spaces.
- The Universal Blue Light program proposed in Metro’s June 2018 ridership initiatives.
- Education about and expansion of Metro fare discount programs.
- Outreach and services for unhoused individuals.
- Provide input on the new scope of services, budget and other provisions of the multiagency police contract renewal.
- Review Metro’s Customer Code of Conduct.
- A shift of resources from armed law enforcement to the above strategies.”
The application period opened yesterday, on October 19, and applications will be accepted through November 13. Metro is looking for a diverse group of 15 committee members and three alternates who:
- “Regularly ride the Metro System;
- Are committed to ensuring that Metro follows best practices for providing transportation that is safe, and feels safe for our customers; and
- Bring relevant knowledge and expertise as a resident, advocate for racial justice and/or public safety reform, law enforcement expert, mental health provider or expert, or social services provider or expert.”
According to Metro, “applicants should plan on being able to meet until June 2022. The exact meeting schedule will be established once the PSAC is formed. We anticipate that the PSAC will meet twice per month in a virtual setting, most likely late afternoon or early evening.”