For more than a decade, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been solely responsible for patrolling Metro’s vast transit network, from subway stations in downtown L.A. to solitary bus stops near San Gabriel Valley strip malls.
That will change this summer under a $797-million security plan approved Thursday to shift law enforcement duties for more than half the public transit system to the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments.
The unanimous decision by the Metro board marks a new chapter in a years-long debate over how best to keep riders safe and police the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s sprawling service area.
The vote also reflects dissatisfaction with the Sheriff’s Department, which has faced criticism from transit officials and from riders who complain they rarely see uniformed deputies on trains and buses.
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