Detroit to add dozens of officers to bus routes in effort to keep drivers, passengers safe

(WXYZ) - Detroit buses are about to get a whole lot safer thanks to a problem exposed by Action News months ago. The city is planning to add dozens of officers to bus routes, making good on a promise made last winter.

For months, Action News has been riding DDOT buses and exposing a need for more police presence in the wake of countless attacks.

Drivers and passengers have pleaded with the city to do something about all the violence.

"Anything they can do to make the buses safer is a good thing," says passenger william hatcher.

Action news turned up the heat on City Hall holding them to a promise of creating a new transit police force to patrol on city buses, at the Rosa Parks Transit Center and on the People Mover.

Gary Brown the city's Chief Operating Officer made good on that promise telling us "you reported all the incidents we had on buses, and our employees deserve to come to work and not be harassed or injured. This is the beginning."

In total, by summer there will be close to 65 new cops riding buses and targeting areas with the most crime.

Roughly $2 million from the general fund is budgeted to pay for it all for the next 10 years plus there are federal grants.

"As you know the M-1 line will be coming on line in a couple years, and we thought it was best to have one transportation unit for the people mover, buses and M-1 line," says brown.

Cameras have already been installed on more than 50 buses with 250 more by October. It's a sign of hope for Detroiters who believed in a better future and safer transportation in the motor city.

"Thanks to Channel 7 doing a good job highlighting the problem, and getting officers on buses," says Hatcher.

DDOT figures show 40% of Detroiters take the bus each day. We're encouraged by what the city has done and applaud their efforts.
 

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