Security guards to patrol Edmonton bus centres, LRT stations

Edmonton Transit is implement rotating security guards at selected transit centres throughout the city after a number of violent incidents over the last two years.

Edmonton Transit to post guards at 25 transit centres across the city

ETS driver Mike Kostelny was stabbed 13 times by a 15-year old in September, 2018. (David Bajer/CBC)

Edmonton Transit Service will begin implementing rotating security guards at selected transit centres throughout the city.

"We're committed to keeping our transit system safe and accelerating security initiatives to make it safer," said ETS branch manager Eddie Robar. "Having onsite security guards is one of the best ways to deter crime and disorder."

The guards, deployed by a private contractor, will patrol 25 bus and LRT stations that have had at least one major incident reported in the past five years, the city said in a news release Thursday.

The Amalgamated Transit Union has been calling for increased security at centres and stations after recent attacks on drivers.

A driver was stabbed more than a dozen times at the Mill Woods Transit Centre in September and another was severely beaten in July.

The rotations will start Monday, but will take two weeks to be fully phased in.

Security guards will be assigned to a particular LRT station for the majority of their shift, but will transition to another facility when these LRT stations close at night, the release said.

Guards will wear highly visible jackets or vests and will patrol throughout their shifts.

They will interact with the public and work closely with transit peace officers and Edmonton police, the city said.

Guards will be asked to observe and report incidents and call 911 in emergencies. For nuisance and disorder incidents, they will contact the Edmonton Transit Service control centre, which will dispatch necessary support.

Edmonton Transit said the guards will receive appropriate orientation, training and operational information.