Violent crimes on Red Line lead to increased patrols

CHICAGO -- After a string of violent incidents on the CTA Red Line, community activists on the South Side are calling for a comprehensive security plan for public transportation in the city.

At the Garfield stop Monday, a man was shot and killed after an argument on the platform.

As a result, the Chicago Police Chief of Patrol ordered increased patrols to CTA stations.

But last night a man was stabbed in the forehead during an argument with another man while they were riding on the Red Line near 35th Street.

Now activist Eric Russell is working with the community on a plan to address the violence that he says will be presented to the CTA and the police.

“The city is just using the old playbook and the police are a reactionary force, but in order to curb this violence, there must be some measures done on the front end to curb it,” Russell said.

He suggests a Guardian Angels-style community patrol team, which would be funded through the summer jobs program, and vetted and trained by the violence interrupters organization.

He’s also asking for frequent announcements that trains are being monitored and an emergency call button in each rail car.

In addition he says riders should be provided with an emergency text number to alert CTA staff when they see a potentially violent situation.

“The vast majority of the working poor people in Illinois cannot afford Uber, we cannot afford transportation, so public safety on the ‘L’ is crucial to our livelihood,” Russell said.

In the killing and the stabbing on the Red Line, both suspects were arrested shortly after the incidents.

Police continue to have stepped up patrols on the Red Line on the South Side, where most of the violence has occurred.