After two separate attacks on Miami’s Metromover last month, police say they are implementing the changes they say will better protect the riders, including added security cameras.
“I was shocked and appalled to see the attacks to the young female and the elderly male,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez. “I feel terrible for what happened. I can assure you that we’re working very hard so those acts of violence do not happen again on our transit system.”
Ramirez spoke to NBC 6 and Telemundo 51 after Tuesday’s Miami-Dade County Commission meeting, where he updated the board with a laundry list of new safety measures that are being rolled out.
“I deployed two priority response teams to our transit system who are there permanently now,” said Ramirez during the meeting. “They’re riding on the rails. They’re working the platform.”
He says they’re doing an education campaign to encourage people to report crimes and enforcement details to crack down on drug activity.
Ramirez says they’re also collaborating with Miami Police and the transit's private security. He said their real-time crime center has access to the cameras on the platforms.
But he says enforcement isn’t the only solution, adding it’s important to address the underlying issues.
“A lot of the issues that we have on the transit is that under the transit system, unfortunately, we have a homeless population that are in need," Ramirez said. "We are working with the Homeless Trust. It's not solely about enforcement. It’s about dealing with this sociological problem that we have."
He also have a long-term goal to create a transit police component of the department to have a permanent presence.
Some Metromover riders say they’re already noticing the changes.
“It’s a little better than last time,” said Lionel Thaus, who says he rides the transit every day. He added that he has seen more officers recently.
Miami-Dade’s Transportation Director Alice Bravo also updated the county commission, saying her department is working to add more cameras and signage so that people know they're being watched.
Additionally, she says the many cameras that they do have are being watched in real time and they’re testing an AI program to help monitor the feeds.