SEPTA Transit Police

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SEPTA Transit Police
PA - SEPTA Police.jpg
Patch of the SEPTA Transit Police.
Agency overview
Formed 1981
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Pennsylvania, USA
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction Railways, tramways, and-or rail transit systems.
Operational structure
Police officers 260
Parent agency SEPTA
Website
[1]
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

SEPTA Transit Police is an American law enforcement agency, which is responsible for policing the mass transit system that is operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The police department also operates in the adjacent suburban areas of Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania, and covers transit routes that extend into the states of New Jersey and Delaware.

The SEPTA transit police department was created in 1981 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly (the state legislature). Although the Philadelphia Police Department maintained a transit unit with officers assigned to patrol in the city's subway concourses, these officers were primarily located in the center city (downtown) area. It was determined that by creating its own dedicated police force, SEPTA would be able to deal more directly with rising crime throughout its system. Another reason for determining that SEPTA needed its own police force was that the portable radios used by the city's police officers did not always operate properly in the subway tunnels. As a result, they could not be depended on if an officer had to pursue a suspect through the tunnel area, or otherwise needed assistance. This problem still exists today, although recent efforts have been made to address the issue.

SEPTA transit police officers attend the Philadelphia Police Academy, and receive the same training as their municipal counterparts. They are commissioned by the governor of Pennsylvania, and possess the same authority as a Philadelphia police officer while on or around SEPTA property in Philadelphia. They also have enforcement authority elsewhere in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, while in the pursuit of official transportation authority business. The SEPTA transit police department has been able to reduce serious crime on its system by 90 percent, since 1990, when it implemented a 'zone' concept policing strategy, where officers are permanently assigned to specific 'zones' throughout the subway system. The SEPTA transit police also utilize a number of special units that augment its regular patrol division. These include bike patrol; K-9 patrol; S.O.R.T. (Special Operations Response Teams); A.C.T. (plainclothes anti-crime teams); a community affairs unit that works to educate the riding public about various crime prevention issues; and a criminal investigations section (C.I.S.); comprising detectives who investigate serious crimes that occur on the transit system. The SEPTA transit police department also participates in various community-based events, in an effort to help build a positive relationship with SEPTA passengers and the general public.

Radio Frequencies[edit]

502.68750 FM 131.8PL

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Transit Police, one officer has died in the line of duty.[1]

Officer Date of death Details
Sergeant Thomas F. Sewell
Sunday, March 12, 1989
Murdered - March 12, 1989

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links[edit]