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'It's reassuring to see': Plans underway to pay CPD officers extra to combat crime on CTA trains

Plans underway to pay CPD officers extra to combat crime on CTA trains
Plans underway to pay CPD officers extra to combat crime on CTA trains 02:45

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There's a new plan to combat ongoing crime on the CTA.

The agency is taking action after numbers like this: showing 530 reports of violent crime so far this year. That's up from 412 this time last year and a steady increase since 2015.

CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot has the details on a renewed deal aimed at keeping riders safe. 

The plan involves officers choosing to do CTA detail on their days off will be paid time and a half, the officer's straight pay rate. CBS 2 obtained this internal Chicago police memo. It says:

"The CTA has renewed its agreement with the Department and has increased the pay rate for CTA Voluntary Special Employment."

It started on August 10. The CTA said the move is part of its ongoing commitment to make transportation safer for customers and employees. Professor Joe Schwieterman is a transportation expert at DePaul University.

"We've been pushing to see city departments, the CTA really work together with a coordinated response. And it's reassuring to see that they're deepening that involvement and putting some money behind it and some serious money," Schwieterman said.

The CTA said it will reimburse the police department for services provided by off-duty officers. The maximum amount will be $90 million over the three-year term of the agreement, so about $30 million each year. 

The money will come from the CTA's annual operating budget.

Police sources said the goal is to have more police officers work CTA detail in light of the spike in crime on the CTA, especially the Red Line, where there have been numerous stabbings and shootings.

The memo said all detectives and police officers...

"...will be compensated at time-and-a-half rate of pay..."

It'll also include premium pay when it applies. The CTA said the sworn officers policing the CTA system on their days off will be supervised by full-time CPD supervisors.

"We see it's really gonna take a citywide commitment, all hands on deck, to really deal with the diversity of our crime problem," said Schwieterman. "And now we're seeing two of the biggest players deepen that connection."

Schwieterman  said recent analysis by DePaul shows the public feels safer when there's armed personnel present in high risk environments.

"Sort of an added sense that they're being watched and protected when they see officials who have that capability to bringing firearms with them," he said.

The CTA said the use of the off-duty police officers to do CTA detail is in addition to the Chicago police assigning extra officers to CTA trains and platforms.

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