CHICAGO (CBS) — Three violent attacks transpired on the CTA in three days.
More recently, a man was stabbed during a robbery on a Green Line platform in the South Loop on Wednesday evening.
All crimes are always under investigation. And as CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported on Thursday, it all comes as the city sticks to its decision to respond to security concerns with increased unarmed security.
But when we asked the mayor’s office if this week demonstrated that more safety measures were needed on our public transport, there was no response.
On Monday night, a train operator was pushed onto the tracks as he searched for a cellphone that someone said he had dropped off at the Granville Red Line station in Edgewater.
On Tuesday evening, a 43-year-old man was attacked and punched by a group of people at the Lake Street Red Line subway station in the Loop.
And on Wednesday night, a 26-year-old man was stabbed by three men trying to rob him at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line stop, Chicago police say.
Aldus. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who suggested spending the proposed $12.5 million in gas gifts for CTA security at Wednesday’s city council meeting, told Us in a statement that the current plan does not didn’t work:
“Unfortunately, the CTA’s recent addition of unarmed security to the transit system does not do the job. There is no acceptable substitute for well-trained police officers. The mere presence of officers in uniform on public transport lines has a huge deterrent effect on crime.
“For almost two years I have been asking for uniformed police to be deployed to patrol the CTA carriages and check the platforms at every stop. Despite repeated requests, this has yet to happen in any meaningful way.
“Worse still, over the past few years, the number of police assigned to Transit has been let down by hundreds of officers: the unit has shrunk dramatically over the past 5 years.
“Because resources seem to be the problem, I would suggest ending the CTA’s private security contract for unarmed personnel; redirecting that funding to put uniformed officers on trains; and supplementing that investment with the 12.5 million dollars that are on offer for the one-time giveaway of gasoline and free CTA fares.
“The best way to avoid paying higher prices at the pumps while helping to support the CTA is to provide people with a reliable, clean and safe transit system. Once people feel safe again safety by using CTA, we will see fewer cars on the road, fewer people relying on fossil fuels to get to work, less pain in the wallet and a dramatic increase in ridership.”
Does anyone agree?
We asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Transit Authority if the security plans announced last month — an increase in unarmed security guards watching trains — are sufficient given the safety concerns of workers and passengers.
The mayor’s office told us they weren’t responding to our request:
“We have no statement. Please connect with CPD.”
Chicago police would only say they are still investigating the incidents and will not discuss specific deployment or patrol numbers.
There was also more of the same from the CTA, which is also still investigating. Here is their statement:
“As with every crime, the CTA is reviewing and providing security camera footage for the alleged incident reported at approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday evening.
“Our initial and preliminary review of images of the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station, as well as nearby stations, show no evidence of an attack occurring on CTA property, including the platform or the Also, the security video does not show the victim at the station, or on any green line train that stopped at the station.
“The CTA continues to review the video and has provided the entire video to Chicago police to assist in their investigation.”
The CTA did not have answers to our specific questions about these unarmed guards, how many are on the trains and whether they have actively prevented anything since patrols intensified.
The CTA has yet to release images of any of the suspects, although they have not been identified.
A CPD spokesperson told us, “If our office receives any footage or video, it will release it accordingly. If detectives have any footage to release, they will create a community alert, which our office will release at that time- the.”
Meanwhile, where are these unarmed security guards deployed? We haven’t heard much from them, so we went ourselves and checked the red and green lines – where this week’s incidents were reported, ourselves. We’ll have more on that on CBS 2 News at 6 p.m.