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Policing Mass Transit.

Policing Mass Transit by Kurt R. Nelson, Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Springfield, Illinois, 1999.

Policing Mass Transit reveals that this enforcement effort has become more critical now than ever before and must accommodate large and small public transportation policy objectives. Public, transit employee, and police officer safety and security represent an absolute necessity for transit systems. It is essential that transit vehicles, roadways, and railways, as well as stations and parking lots, be constructed to discourage criminals and to add to the capability of crime prevention and response enforcement. Members of the law enforcement profession and the community in general must work together on the total process, from planning to implementation.

In Policing Mass Transit, the author addresses strategic transit concepts, goals, and objectives inherent in policing transit modes and examines the tactical considerations and approaches. The book is designed in three parts. Part one addresses the strategic focus on orienting the community, measuring and communicating success, planning for security, developing a transit security plan and impact statement, managing the plan once implemented, and using the strategy of incident review committees on surfacing issues.

The book's second part emphasizes transit physical aspects related to crime prevention through environmental design and the tactical ramifications when law enforcement officers approach buses and trains, including their mobility, which can impact the safety and security of officers, transit employees, and the public. This part also assesses using plainclothes and undercover officers, as well as technology employment concerning "pan-tilt-zoom" cameras and their effectiveness, to detect and identify criminals. Further, the author reviews for the reader the Dallas area rapid transit concept of assigning sworn uniform officers to light rail vehicles and provides highlights of the New Jersey Transit Police 1996 Annual Report involving transit robberies and assaults. The author also analyzes the Washington, D.C., Transit System Crime Statistics Report for 1996 and 1997, which showed that fixed locations accounted for 50 and 45 percent of Part I and II crimes, respectively. The book contains reviews of other area t ransit systems as well.

Part three of the book addresses the strategy for preincident planning, training, system considerations, and types of responses and prevention measures. It also covers internal employee theft and crime, youth gangs and the identification of the types and threat levels, triggers to violence, and work-site violence that spills over into domestic situations that impact transit safety and security. The author argues the point that there are special and unique facets of transit policing that require law enforcement specialization or generalization enforcement to successfully meet the needed public and employee protection concerns and objectives.

Great advantages of the book include the eight appendices. They range from an example of a transit security survey and a listing of various transit/travel laws in major districts to a recent system security plan and program supported by a budget program identifying direct and indirect security costs. The appendices also contain an example of operating/customer profiles, an identification of management concerns of the implemented security plan, a listing of security roles and responsibilities, and a threat and vulnerability identification with assessments and potential resolution.

Policing Mass Transit is an asset to communities and local governments; transit planners; port, rail, and bus authorities; police policy/procedures developers; and training designers. It proves essential reading for trainers, transit construction and subcontractor vendors, and specific members of the criminal justice system who may have a direct or indirect interest in policing transit modes and bringing criminals to justice.
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Author:Moore, Larry R.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 2002
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