Amtrak Increasing Deployment of Police Aboard Trains

Amtrak is deploying more of its police officers aboard trains rather than concentrating them at stations.

The change in policing is said to have been prompted by an increase in petty crimes and assaults committed aboard trains.

The changes primarily affect trains operating in the Northeast Corridor.

“We really focused on getting more uniforms in front of people, which is the number one way we can increase safety,” said D.J. Stadtler, Amtrak’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Last year Amtrak sought to reduce the number of officers by 20 percent in its police department but that move was blocked by Congress.

Congress directed Amtrak to maintain a force of 431 officers.

The reassignment of police officers is also said to be designed to protect critical railroad infrastructure.

Amtrak police responded to 5,700 criminal incidents in 2019, down from about 6,000 in 2018 but higher than the 4,100 incidents reported in 2017.

Much of the increase of incidents was reported aboard trains and many of the cases were alcohol-related.

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