Bogota’s TransMilenio bus system will have 400 new police officers devoted to the network from Thursday, with the intention of strengthening security both within buses and at stations after a spate of attacks.
On Thursday, 400 new auxiliary police were inducted into Bogota’s Metropolitan Police specifically to be placed on the TransMilenio.
“Our goal is to continue to increase the levels of perception of safety inside and outside the system, preventing or reacting to the commission of a criminal act,” said general of the Bogota Metropolitan Police, Edgar Sanchez Morales, being quoted in Colombia’s newspaper El Espectador.
After three months of training, the new auxiliary police will be stationed at each of the 131 stations in the city. They are to act as immediate response to criminal acts, as critical support for citizens requiring information, and to reduce worries of insecurity amongst passengers.
Sanchez also mentioned the six new citizen complaint points that have been installed in the TransMilenio network at different locations in the city.
Bogota is one of the few Latin American capital cities to not have a metro system, relying on the TransMilenio rapit transit bus system to transport more than 2.4 million people a day – almost one third of the city’s entire population. It is often criticized for its heavily overcrowded buses, despite an extensive network.
This year has been a challenge for authorities in Bogota, with crimes such as theft and sexual harassment being reported by passengers riding the TransMilenio system.
The latest move bolsters measures already in place. President Juan Manuel Santos reinforced the TransMilenio with 300 soldiers about two months ago, which has provided the Bogota mass transit system with 50% more uniformed men and significantly decreased the most common crimes, according to Colombian newsmagazine La Semana.
- Policía reforzo seguridad de Transmilenio (El Espectador)
- Cuatrocientos nuevos policias en Transmilenio (La Semana)
- Se incorporan 400 policias auxiliares al sistema Transmilenio para mejorar la seguridad (Radio Santa Fe)