CTA signs $30 million contract to bring K-9 units back to rail system

Teams will consist of two unarmed guards working with a dog to complement the existing security presence on CTA property.

SHARE CTA signs $30 million contract to bring K-9 units back to rail system
Chicago police investigate in June after a man was shot while riding on a Red Line train near the 47th Street Red Line station.

Chicago police investigate after a man was shot while riding on a Red Line train near the 47th Street Red Line station in June.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Under a new contract, unarmed security teams working with dogs will help patrol Chicago Transit Authority property in an effort to deter crime, the agency announced Wednesday.

CTA officials said they signed an 18-month contract with security service Action K-9 worth more than $30 million that will provide 100 unarmed guards and 50 canines per day for patrols. The figure also includes the costs of supervision and supporting equipment.

Dorval Carter Jr., the CTA’s president, said the new contract fulfills a promise he made to increase security “to ensure customers’ peace of mind when choosing” to ride trains.

“The addition of the K-9 units is just one way we’re following through on our commitment to security for our customers, as well as our front-line employees who play a vital role in keeping our system moving every day,” Carter said in a statement.

CTA officials announced their intention to bring back canine patrols earlier this month after a series of fatal Red Line shootings and stabbings sparked outrage and concern. The reintroduction of K-9 units was listed in a recent report released by the agency about its plans to combat crime on public transit.

Some of the K-9 units will be positioned near turnstiles to help deter fare evasion, which the agency said can lead to other illicit activity on the lines.

Each dog will be assigned to two unarmed guards to complement the work of existing security personnel on CTA property. Currently, 300 unarmed guards work throughout the system each day, the CTA said.

The CTA has not announced when the K-9 team patrols will begin. The agency is still working to confirm that guards assigned to the unit have a valid canine handler license and have the proper training before being deployed.

Safety concerns, along with service disruptions, have become a major issue for riders who say the agency is falling behind on its duty to protect passengers.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this month that violent crime on the L, subway trains and CTA buses has risen to levels not seen since 2011.

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