CTA finishes early on installation of security cameras at every rail station

Chicago's mayor, police superintendent and the CTA president joined together Monday to tout the early completion of the CTA's effort to install surveillance cameras at all 144 rail stations.

In all, 1,800 additional cameras were installed at 78 rail stations since June. Now there are more than 3,000 cameras monitoring all rail stations.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CTA President Forrest Claypool and Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy made the announcement at the Clinton Green/Pink Line station, "where police recently used footage from newly installed station cameras to identify, arrest and charge an offender responsible for attacking and robbing a woman of her purse in an elevator a block away from the station," according to a press release. "The same offender had previously appeared in surveillance footage using a stolen credit card, which connected him to a car burglary near CTA Headquarters two weeks earlier."

More from that release:

In the last five months, images pulled from CTA surveillance cameras have assisted CPD in the arrest of at least 47 individuals for crimes committed either on or near CTA property. Of these arrests, at least 23 offenders have been identified as participants in multi-offender attacks or crimes; at least 16 individuals have been identified for serial crimes committed on CTA property and at least 10 individuals have been identified for crimes committed off CTA property.

“These new cameras have been instrumental in helping to solve a number of crimes since we began installing them in June – including three murders that took place away from CTA property as well as a string of serial robberies, one involving a shotgun that happened on CTA property,” Claypool said. “This is just what we envisioned when we set out to fast-track the installation of these additional cameras at our rail stations.”

“These cameras are a critical tool for the Chicago Police Department to help keep riders safe and bring criminals to justice. Through close collaboration with the CTA we will continue to work to decrease crime and provide the greatest level of safety on our city’s public transportation system,” said McCarthy.

Since June, the Chicago Police Department’s Public Transit Unit has conducted 286 Rail Saturation Missions that have resulted in the arrest of 123 individuals and the issuance of nearly 300 citations for minor offenses and 316 contact cards.

I will say one thing - the CTA has great talent for beating its own deadlines to get things done.

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  • Last paragraph--except in this case: huh? Look at the construction report--both signal projects are behind by at least a year.

    Note some typicals I noted in the last post:

    * No mention if this was Homeland Security money. Presumably Rahm paid for it out of his own pocket.

    *Claypool in the background as far as any media coverage.

    For the most part, this appears to be like most camera deals, in that preventing crime on the CTA seems collateral. Most of the radio reports were of Claypool saying that they were able to track the Indian Head Park murderer/burglar using the CTA. The last I heard, Indian Head Park did not have L service. The only clip I heard relevant to the CTA was that some woman about to be robbed on a platform pointed to the camera and the attempted robber fled. Hence, there may be a reason why McCarthy was more prominent than Claypool.

    So, yes, we need the cameras, but I don't think we need the impression that Rahm is solely responsible for all that's happened in the past 60 days that he is trying to cultivate.

  • Jack: good point about the signal projects.

    However, I was referring to the Brown Line rehab project and the Grand/State rehab. Both finished/finishing on time or ahead of schedule.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Grand-State was a CDOT project, in that the city owns the subway.

    For that matter, the Brown Line one isn't done, if we believe Cheryl.

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    I am just wondering if the security cameras can catch incidents of door entrapment, like what happened to me Thursday about 5:15 to 5:20 on the Clark/Lake Blue line toward O''Hare. I was a little bit in shock and did not think to get the train car number or witnesses or go upstairs. I wonder how often this happens. I have never seen it happen to anyone else. I have never knowingly put myself in harm's way and I learned that my respect of those doors was well warranted as they hit me hard unexpectedly and closed on my arm as I backed up and I could not get my hand out. Someone pulled the red ball, for which I am eternally grateful...

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