Metra Police Department
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|Metra Police Department|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||Metropolitan area of Chicago in the state of Illinois, United States|
|Specialist jurisdiction||Railways, tramways, and-or rail transit systems.|
|Parent agency||The Regional Transportation Authority|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
Note: Security at RTA
The Metra Police Department (also known as The Metra Transit Police Department) was created to protect the Metra rail system, which operates in Chicago and the Chicago metropolitan area, spanning 6 counties. The primary function of the Metra Police Department is to protect Metra passengers, Metra employees, Metra assets (Trains, Stations,misc.) enforce criminal laws, traffic laws and ordinances that directly or indirectly relate to the Metra system. Safety is an important part of this function, and preventing accidents and injuries are a focus of the department. Many times enforcing traffic laws around Metra stations and crossings is intended to increase awareness and citizen compliance. Metra Police work in cooperation with local authorities to reduce or attempt to prevent hazardous conditions or blatant violations of the law which result in an unsafe condition. Metra Police routinely assist local, county and state agencies in non Metra related matters. The jurisdiction of the Metra Police extends well past the property owned or leased by Metra. Metra Police may make arrests anywhere in the State of Illinois including outside their jurisdiction, just as any police officer in the state of Illinois can make an arrest or write a ticket outside of their jurisdiction. (725 ILCS 5/107-4)
In 1974 the Illinois State Legislature created The Regional Transportation Authority. When the RTA reorganized in 1983 Metra was created. This act empowers all the sub units of the RTA to establish and maintain police forces. The Metra Police Department was created at that time. The RTA Act states that these police departments have the authority of municipal police officers. Metra Police Officers routinely and regularly enforce all Criminal law violations of the state of Illinois. Metra Police Officers are authorized to enforce all of the traffic laws of the Illinois Vehicle Code. The main focus of Metra Police law enforcement is the six county transit operation, however due to the great distances between rail lines, off property arrests occur on a regular basis. All Metra Police Officers are fully certified Police Officers and many are former State, City, County, and Suburban police officers. The Metra Police Department requires that a candidate possess several years experiences in State, City, County, or Suburban police work. Because of the six counties of police operation, tickets and criminal complaints are booked into many different courts. As a general rule, court cases will be assigned in the nearest court, in the county of arrest.
After September 11, 2001 The Metra Police Department increased its effort in anti-terrorism concerns. Newly formed K-9 Bomb detection teams and a Special Operations Unit *Metra Police Special Operations Unit concentrate on protecting passengers and Metra terminals in the downtown Chicago area, and throughout the entire system. Metra Police Officers have been assigned to multi agency Criminal Task Forces, The Chicago Joint Operations Center, the Chicago Police Fusion Center (CPIC), and the Illinois State Police Statewide Terrorism Information Center (STIC). Metra Police officers regularly participate in the Chicago CAPS programs and attend beat meetings all over the city of Chicago. Metra Police regularly participate in Chicago Office of Emergency Communications (OEMC) planning meetings for large events. New security measures and methods are constantly being developed. Metra Police work closely with city/village/county/state and federal agencies to create new ways of protecting the entire system. In about 2008, The Metra Police Patrol Division began using a computer aided dispatch system and new electronic report writing system.
On September 27, 2006 Metra Officer Thomas A. Cook was killed in the line of duty while working a robbery prevention detail near the 147th Street/Sibley Metra Station in Harvey, IL.
Metra Police Department
547 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois 60661-2517
312.322.2800 (24 hour dispatch)