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Metro Board Delays Vote On Multi-Agency Security Proposal

LOS ANGELES ( — Metro officials Thursday put off a vote on a hotly-debated plan to adopt a multi-agency approach to providing police and security for the public transportation system.

The Metro Board of Directors opted to postpone for three months the vote on the proposal, which calls for scaling back on a contract with the Sheriff's Department and bringing in officers from the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments.

The decision was made after Sheriff Jim McDonnell -- who strongly opposes the proposal -- asked that board members take additional time to review the plan.

During the meeting, several Metro board members made reference to passengers "feeling unsafe", according to KNX 1070's Claudia Peschiutta.

Many students of John W North High School told CBS2's Randy Paige that they don't feel safe on transit either.

"I don't feel safe because I just feel like I don't trust the people around and I don't know anyone there," one student said.

"There's like a lot of crazy people on the bus," another student said.

The plan under consideration would allow Metro to contract with multiple agencies. Officials have estimated the county would save about $80 million over a five-year period, but would also see law enforcement personnel increases from between 160 and 200 to 240 people over a 24-hour period.

Metro officials hope to reduce response times, which currently average just over 14 minutes to reach bus incidents and nearly 13 minutes for rail, according to an analysis from January.

A vote on the plan will take place in February.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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