SEPTA Debuts New Tactical Unit, New Schedules

By David Chang
|  Sunday, Aug 11, 2013  |  Updated 11:20 PM EDT
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SEPTA Debuts New Tactical Unit, New Schedules

NBC10.com

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A new SEPTA program debuts today in which officers target hot spots for crime.

The new tactical unit, composed of 26 SEPTA police officers, will focus on and assess the areas that have received the most complaints and service calls from the day before.

Each day, the unit will analyze crime complaints and service calls from the previous day across the system. Tactical unit officers will then head out those high-crime locations and saturate the area.

SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel, III says the unit’s primary goal will be to reduce crime and provide peace of mind to its 830,000 weekly riders.

"I want to address the problems," he said. "It doesn't do anybody any good to see cops in areas where there are no problems."

NBC10’s Monique Braxton was given behind the scenes access Sunday. Just seconds after the unit was dispatched they captured a repeat offender in the act.

Lieutenant Nicole Lawson says they usually see as many as 20 evaders per day.

“Using fake Medicare cards to someone who doesn't pay for children to someone who jumps the turn style, said Lawson.

The tactical unit says they are also looking for people who are stealing items from passengers. The offenders are fined up to $300.

The transit authority already utilizes 12,000 surveillance cameras -- 1,200 which feature live feeds – to monitor for crime and suspicious activity on its network of buses, trains and trolleys.

SEPTA will also begin its new regional rail schedule today. The new schedule includes additional express trains to the Paoli/Thorndale line and restored midday train service between Colmar and Doylestown.
 

Click here to view the full schedule.

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