New Cameras Aim to Prevent CTA Train Crime

Although Bucktown and Wicker Park trains are crime-free this year, the area saw more than 100 thefts from 2010 to 2012.

Every rail car traveling through Bucktown and Wicker Park will have surveillance cameras by the end of 2013.

And even though the area is crime-free on CTA rails this year, officials say they hope the cameras will deter future offenses.

The project is slated to take seven months, CTA President Forrest Claypool announced Monday. Cameras come standard in new rail cars, so the new plans entail installing high-definition cameras in 850 older model CTA trains. Every car will receive four, 360-degree cameras and on-board recording devices.

In Bucktown and Wicker Park, 139 crimes were reported on CTA trains from 2010 to 2012. Those include 101 thefts, 13 robberies and 13 reports of battery.

Currently, cameras are in about 15 percent of existing trains. Over the last 8 months, the surveillance helped police identify suspects in 14 out of 15 cases, Claypool said. 

“Having a world-class public transportation system is a key goal of my administration, and making sure that Chicagoans can have a safe experience on board our trains and buses is a top priority,”  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, in a statement. “These additional cameras will work directly with the many other upgrades we’ve made to improve the experience of our passengers, so they can get to work and school smoothly and safely.” 

More than 3,600 cameras have been installed in train stations and buses across the city, according to the CTA.

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