King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn today announced they are partnering to improve the safety of people using and working in five downtown Seattle transit tunnel stations.
King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn today announced they are partnering to improve the safety of people using and working in five downtown Seattle transit tunnel stations. In addition to armed, uniformed transit police in each of the five downtown tunnel stations, more Seattle police are assigned to the areas around the street entrances to the tunnel.
“Uniformed officers on the streets and in the tunnel are working together to provide the kind of safety and security that our customers expect,” said Executive Constantine. “I thank Mayor McGinn for the actions he is taking to help increase transit safety.”
“Nothing is more important than public safety on our city’s streets,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. “We are strategically deploying our resources to put greater police emphasis on areas around the tunnels, and officers are coordinating their activities with Metro Transit Police.”
The county-city partnership includes the assignment of more police to the tunnel and areas surrounding the tunnel entrances, and close coordination between police and Metro Transit deputies.
The security improvements are made in response to the Jan. 28 beating of a 15 year old girl inside the tunnel while security guards watched but did not intervene.
Mayor McGinn has called for a review of Seattle police actions related to the beating victim and her alleged assailants in the Westlake area before they entered the bus tunnel.
Metro contracts with the King County Sheriff to provide 68 armed deputies to serve as Transit police throughout the system, including the transit tunnel. It also contracts with Olympic Security Services for unarmed security guards in the five tunnel stations as well as other transit facilities. Olympic Security initiated additional training of all of its guards assigned to the tunnel today, and Metro continues to evaluate options to restore public confidence in the tunnel security.
The Metro bus tunnel is open 20 hours a day from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.