Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Metro Cops Avoid Stations because of Poor Radios

Metro Transit Police Department sources, including officers, tell Unsuck DC Metro that Metro cops often avoid certain stations because the poor quality of radio reception makes it difficult or impossible to call for backup in event something bad were to happen.

The sources said the situation puts riders, Metro employees and transit cops at risk but has been ignored by Metro management.

One officer said the radios have poor reception "throughout most of the system, even in the open."

"In many stations like L'Enfant, Metro Center, Anacostia--all the main and bad stations--the radios sometimes don't work at all! I am comfortable saying 80 percent of the area we cover has terrible radio service!"

Another officer confirmed the problem, adding that the reception varied like cell phones sometimes do. It could work fine one place for one moment and then suddenly lose coverage, they said.

"We've brought this to Metro's attention, but they have yet to do anything," the officer said in an email. "With these radios, I'm reluctant to get into a situation where I can't communicate with my fellow officers to ask for backup."

The source said this was a common practice among many officers and a source or tremendous frustration in the department.

A source intimately familiar with the Metro Transit Police Department's operations said the following in an email:
The radio system is so dangerous, and MTPD's top people know it, and most of them would admit privately that it worries them. But politics is reality, and Metro cannot admit officially that it spent a lot of money on this radio system, and it does not work. I'm not trying to be over-dramatic, but this could get someone killed. Maybe an officer, maybe another employee or a patron.
Other items:
Metro falls short of lowered goals (Examiner)
Metrobus to the rescue? (WTOP)
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