Amtrak Police

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Amtrak Police Department
Common name Amtrak Police
Abbreviation APD
Amtrak Police logo.jpg
Patch of the Amtrak Police Department
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
United States
Legal jurisdiction Amtrak Rail System
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction Railways, tramways, and-or rail transit systems.
Operational structure
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executive Neil Trugman, Chief of Police
Website
police.amtrak.com

The Amtrak Police Department (APD) is a national police force committed to protecting the passengers, employees, and stakeholders of Amtrak. With over 500 personnel in 46 states and the District of Colombia, the force conducts various security measures to ensure overall safety. The department is headquartered in Washington D.C., with most officers stationed within the Northeast Corridor, which is Amtrak’s busiest route from Washington D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts.

Since 1979, most Amtrak police officers are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC)[1][2] although some recruits may be certified through a local police academy.

APD officers have the same police authority as a local or state law enforcement officer within their jurisdiction. APD officers have multiple areas of responsibility which include stations, trains, rights-of-way and maintenance facilities.

History[edit]

The APD found its roots in the Loss Prevention and Security group that grew as part of Amtrak from 1971 to 1976. That group mainly handled security surveys and security of the onboard service stock. These uniformed security guards (not commissioned) worked at several locations, such as Chicago and Los Angeles to name a few, but Amtrak did not have responsibility for policing the stations.

Because of the Regional Railroad Reorganization Act, which went into effect on April 1, 1976, the Consolidated Rail Corporation (CONRAIL) was formed to handle freight and Amtrak was approved to operate on the Northeast Corridor. On April 2, 1976, Amtrak became two entities:

1. Corporate, which operated out of Washington, DC, and handled everything south and west.
2. The Northeast Corridor (NEC), which handled the Northeast Corridor Project.

The Amtrak Police and Security Department (POSE) was created to handle the NEC, while the Loss Prevention and Security Group continued to handle the remainder of the country. The POSE placed uniformed, commissioned police officers at various stations and facilities along the NEC. In 1976, the Amtrak Police and Security Department (POSE) NEC Director of Police William Reynolds commanded a force of 340 officers on the corridor. The first Corporate Director of Police and Security was Jack Harris. On September 1, 1978, reorganization occurred within Amtrak, which merged the NEC and Corporate entities as one and merged the POSE with the Loss Prevention and Security Group under Director William Reynolds.

Amtrak Police Department Slogan

In April 1979, APD Officers were accepted as full member participants in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) at Glynco, Georgia.

Amtrak Police Department: 1980s

In 1981, the Office of Investigations, a specialized group, split away from POSE and reported directly to the Law Department, but re-merged with POSE in 1984 and the APD was formed under the direction of Chief of Police Raymond Ingalls.

In the spring of 1986, the APD reorganized into three divisions that included Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Special Services to model the Department after municipal police departments.

Amtrak Police Department: 1990s

In the early 1990’s APD realigns to a new organizational structure:

  • Field Operations – Patrol and Criminal Investigations
  • Headquarters Operations – Support Staff and Special Investigations
  • Office of the Chief of Police – Internal Affairs and Community Relations

In 1992, APD was the first railroad police department and agency with national jurisdiction responsibilities to seek and achieve CALEA accreditation. APD created the National Communications Center (NCC) in 1995, moving all dispatching/call taking to Philadelphia. APD launched Customer Oriented Policing (COP) the same year.

In 1996, APD consisted of 325 sworn and 17 civilian employees stationed in two regions. The Eastern Region included Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Georgia and Florida. The Western Region included Indiana, Illinois, Washington, California, Texas, and New Mexico. Police headquarters was located at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Regions were commanded by Inspectors and Field Offices were commanded by Captains/Managers with the assistance of Lieutenants and Sergeants.

Amtrak Police Department: 2000s

September 11, 2001, had a significant impact on the APD:

  • Moved from traditional law enforcement to increased counter-terrorism focus.
  • Added security function to manage Homeland Security grant funding.
  • Expanded department by adding Special Operations Unit (Mobile Tactical).
  • APD transformed K-9 unit to explosive detection and expands to over 50 teams.
  • Expanded intelligence gathering capabilities.
  • Implemented random passenger screening.

Amtrak Police Department:2011-2012

Amtrak Police Department was structured as follows:

  • Patrol Division
  • Special Operations and Corporate Security
  • Office of the Chief of Police
  • 434 sworn officers assigned to 36 reporting locations
  • APD is accredited by CALEA after returning to the process.
  • Corporate Security shifts to newly formed Emergency management and Corporate Security Department (EMCS).

Amtrak Police Department:2014 APD structure defined:

  • Office of the Chief
  • Patrol Division
  • Special Operations
  • Authorized headcount of over 500 personnel at more than 30 locations in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Authority[edit]

Amtrak’s enabling legislation under the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, now found at 49 U.S.C. 24101, established the authority for Amtrak to have its own police force. The Amtrak rail police law, now found at 49 U.S.C. 24305 (e), states as follows:

(e) Rail Police. —Amtrak may directly employ or contract with rail police to provide security for rail passengers and property of Amtrak. Rail police directly employed by or contracted by Amtrak who have complied with a State law establishing requirements applicable to rail police or individuals employed in a similar position may be directly employed or contracted without regard to the law of another State containing those requirements.

Chief of Police[edit]

Neil Trugman was appointed Chief of Police on February 14, 2017, overseeing the Amtrak Police Department’s officers and civilian employees. He served as Interim Chief for five months before his permanent appointment.

Chief Trugman joined the Amtrak Police Department in January 2006 as an Inspector and he was appointed as Deputy Chief of Police in 2013 in which he commanded the Special Operation Division, comprising the Counterterrorism-Intelligence Unit, Special Operation Unit, and the Canine (K9) Unit.

Chief Trugman has received numerous awards and commendations, including the prestigious Medal of Valor, Medal of Honor, and Silver Medal of Valor. He was born in Brooklyn, New York; attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and often serves as a lecturer at various law enforcement conferences.

Patrol Officers[edit]

Patrol Officers, fulfill traditional policing functions. Their job is to act as a deterrent to crime in the stations, on trains, in and around Amtrak facilities, and out on the railroad right-of-way by enforcing laws, conducting follow-up investigations, and providing support at stations, on board trains, and during special events such as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, NATO / G-8 Summits, Presidential Inaugural events, and large scale sporting events. The department also works to provide humanitarian aid in the aftermath of major weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes and snowstorms.

There are more than 30 regional Amtrak Police Department Detectives in over 25 different locations throughout the United States. These detectives provide coverage to areas generally not served by major Amtrak Police field offices and may individually cover as many as five states.

K-9 Unit[edit]

K-9 explosive detection teams are a psychological and physical deterrent to potential threats from those who seek to deploy explosives. These teams are part of a collaborative interagency initiative that includes the Transportation Security Administration, federal and state Departments of Homeland Security, and state and local law enforcement agencies. Amtrak explosives detection teams are divided between standard explosives detection and vapor wake detection. Vapor wake detection dogs are trained to alert on a passing individual. Amtrak currently has the most K-9 units in the railroad industry with vapor wake capabilities. Additionally, The Amtrak Police Department currently has two working narcotics detection K-9 teams.

Special Operations Unit[edit]

The Special Operations Unit supports patrol operations by providing rapid response and enhanced capabilities to assist in keeping Amtrak passengers and employees safe. The unit is prepared at any time to deploy personnel and equipment for tactical response, to support warrant service, conduct low visibility counter-surveillance, investigations, and provide enhanced support for special events. In addition, the unit also conducts training on railroad-specific tactical response and procedures for fellow Amtrak Police Department members and our external law enforcement partner agencies, random passenger baggage screening, and highly visible sweeps of stations and trains.

Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Unit[edit]

The Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism Unit serves as a support element for the different patrol divisions, which serve as the front-line of the Amtrak Police Department and seeks to increase the safety and security of our passengers and personnel by increasing the department’s insight into ongoing threats and potential terrorist acts by the analysis and dissemination of intelligence information.

The Amtrak Intelligence Team (AIT)[edit]

The Amtrak Intelligence Team consists of Detectives and Analysts assigned to the Special Operations Division that enhance the security and safety of the Amtrak system, passengers and personnel through the real-time exchange of intelligence, investigative, and threat information across the country. Two full-time Intelligence Analysts with Top Secret security clearances support these operations and routinely receive classified briefings from federal agencies as well as prepare reports and conduct analysis on threats, special events and VIP movements. AIT reports are often re-disseminated by other federal agencies and within the greater Intelligence Community by TSA, DHS and the FBI. The unit also has five detectives deployed full-time to FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. One detective is full-time at the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF), and one splits his time between the DVIC in Philadelphia, the NJ ROIC and Delaware Fusion Center. One detective is part-time in Boston.

Operation RAILSAFE[edit]

Operation RAILSAFE (Regional Alliance Including Local, State and Federal Efforts) is a nationwide effort involving activities such as heightened station patrols, increased security presence onboard trains, in stations and along the right-of-way, explosives detection K-9 sweeps, random passenger baggage inspections, and marine and air patrols at unannounced locations to exercise counterterrorism and incident response capabilities. Operation RAILSAFE was developed in partnership by the Amtrak Police Department, New York City Police Department and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and began in May 2010. Fifty-eight operations have been conducted to date with over 300 agencies participating in 46 states, Washington, D.C. and in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

The goal of Operation RAILSAFE’s training component is to strengthen coordination and integration between and among Amtrak’s stakeholders (e.g., emergency responders, host railroads, transit agencies, law enforcement officials, municipalities, etc.) and improve the security of passengers, employees, and infrastructure from acts of terrorism. By enhancing response, information sharing and collaboration capabilities, the training is also consistent with the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, Transportation Sector Specific Plan, and the National Response Framework. It is also aligned with the planning, prevention, protection and community resilience core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal.

Operation Lifesaver[edit]

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) is a non-profit organization that provides public education programs in all 50 states to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings. Amtrak is one of the larger companies that provides financial support to the organization. Operation Lifesaver volunteers speak to school groups, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement officers and emergency responders to educate the public on keeping safe around the railroad tracks. The organization's programs are co-sponsored by federal, state and local government agencies, highway safety organizations and America's railroads.

Operation Lifesaver Banner

National Communications Center (NCC)[edit]

Amtrak’s National Communications Center (NCC) is the coordination center for the Amtrak Police Department and is located in Wilmington, Delaware. NCC Communications Officers answer calls and respond to text messages from the APD11 "txt-a-tip" system, and dispatch officers as needed to respond to incidents and events throughout the country. Amtrak’s National Communications Center ensures that officers are on scene as needed when a request for police response is made.

APD11 txt-a-tip[edit]

The Amtrak Police Department introduced a new method that allowed passengers and employees to report suspicious activity, crime, or emergencies through APD11 “txt-a-tip.” The program allows passengers and employees to contact the Amtrak Police Department’s National Communications Center via SMS text messaging by sending a text to APD11 from a smartphone or to 27311 from a standard cell phone. When a text is received, the sender will receive a message acknowledging the report, and will then be connected to a live Amtrak Police Communications Officer who will correspond directly via text message with the person to learn more about the situation and determine the appropriate action. This was launched as a continued effort by Amtrak to provide additional communication options for passengers and employees who are deaf or may have hearing loss, allowing easy and efficient communication of emergency information to the APD.

The APD11 "txt-a-tip" system allows the public to become more involved in the police department's pledge of "If you see something, say something." The system has helped to alert emergency services of trespassers on the tracks as well as other suspicious activity.

Trespassing Laws and Regulations[edit]

Amtrak does not have anything specific to its railroads regarding trespassing or grade crossing violations. The corporation follows the same rules as the other class I railroads. All railroads are private property and in most states, trespassing is codified as a property crime and is a general offense. A number of States specifically forbid trespassing on railroad property. A list of State-by-State trespassing laws is available at: www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/2305.

Section 208 of the Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-432) reads as follows:

(5) by adding at the end the following new subsection: ‘‘(d) DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘violation of highway-rail grade crossing signs, signals, markings, or other warning devices’ includes any action by a motorist, unless directed by an authorized safety officer— ‘‘(1) to drive around a grade crossing gate in a position intended to block passage over railroad tracks; ‘‘(2) to drive through a flashing grade crossing signal; ‘‘(3) to drive through a grade crossing with passive warning signs without ensuring that the grade crossing could be safely crossed before any train arrived; and ‘‘(4) in the vicinity of a grade crossing, who creates a hazard of an accident involving injury or property damage at the grade crossing.’’

Emergency Notification System (ENS)[edit]

The Emergency Notification System (ENS) provides motorists and pedestrians with a number to call in the event that a vehicle is stuck on the grade crossing. This number will alert emergency services so that they can get into contact with the locomotive engineer or conductor of a train headed in that direction to slow down the speed of the train or stop the train completely. The Emergency Notification System sign has a locator crossing number with six digits and letters and gives the location of the grade crossing to assist emergency services. The Emergency Notification System sign can be located at three different places: On the cross buck, directly at the crossing, or on the silver box adjacent to the crossing.

Picture of Emergency Notification Sign used at Railroad Grade Crossings

Rank structure and insignia[edit]

Title Insignia
Chief of Police
4 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief of Police
3 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Chief
2 Gold Stars.svg
Inspector
1 Gold Star.svg
Captain
Captain insignia gold.svg
Sergeant
NYPD Sergeant Stripes.svg
Detective (Gold Badge/insignias)
Special Agent (Gold Badge/insignias)
Criminal Investigator
Police Officer

See also[edit]

References[edit]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "A Brief History of the Amtrak Police Department". amtrakpolice.com. Amtrak Police Department. Retrieved 23 Nov 2015. 
  2. ^ "Current Partners". fletc.gov. Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. Retrieved 23 Nov 2015. 
  3. ^ "Amtrak Security Measures" (PDF). Amtrak Police Department. 
    1. ^ "A Brief History of the Amtrak Police Department". amtrakpolice.com. Amtrak Police Department. Retrieved 23 Nov 2015. 
    2. ^ "Current Partners". fletc.gov. Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. Retrieved 23 Nov 2015. 
    3. ^ "Amtrak Security Measures" (PDF). Amtrak Police Department. 
      <references></references>
    4. ^ "About Us". Operation Lifesaver. Operation Lifesaver. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
    5. ^ "Federal Railroad Administration Trespassing and ATV Usage on Railroad Property Fact Sheet" (PDF). usa.streetblogs.org. United States of America Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
    6. ^ [file:///C:/Users/00818911/Downloads/RRTrespassVandalismXingPreventionStrategies.pdf "Railroad Trespassing, Vandalism, Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Device Violation Prevention Strategies"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). United States of America Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Operation Lifesaver. Operation Lifesaver. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Federal Railroad Administration Trespassing and ATV Usage on Railroad Property Fact Sheet" (PDF). usa.streetblogs.org. United States of America Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  6. ^ [file:///C:/Users/00818911/Downloads/RRTrespassVandalismXingPreventionStrategies.pdf "Railroad Trespassing, Vandalism, Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Device Violation Prevention Strategies"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). United States of America Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 20, 2017.