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RTD Transit Police will begin patrolling overnight starting on May 5

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 3 : 0 Line RTD bus arrive the stop of Union Station in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. RTD offer zero fares on all services from August 1-31 as part of the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

The Regional Transportation District’s police officers will start working in some areas overnight to provide 24/7 coverage starting on May 5, the transit agency announced on Monday.

The Regional Transportation District’s police officers will start working in some areas overnight to provide coverage around the clock beginning on May 5, the transit agency announced on Monday.

Officials said in a press release that the extension of police patrol hours aims to enhance safety and security for RTD employees and customers, especially those using buses or trains outside of regular business hours.

Joel Fitzgerald Sr., chief of police and emergency management, stated in a written message that the launch of overnight patrols has been a priority for RTD-PD, and it depended on their hiring success. He mentioned the need for sufficient staff to deliver the high-quality service expected by stakeholders, with plans for further expansion in the future.

It’s unclear which areas will be covered by the overnight patrols and how the gradual rollout will take place. The agency did not respond to a request for comment on Monday morning.

The release mentioned that the overnight team will focus on areas requiring enhanced safety measures for bus and rail operators, such as Denver Union Station where employees begin their morning shifts. RTD aims to increase its officer count to at least 119 by the end of the year.

Currently, 61 certified police officers work at the department, an increase from the 19 in August 2022. Another 19 individuals are expected to join after graduating from the police academy in May, with an additional 26 set to attend the academy in July.

According to the news release, RTD provides bus, train, and paratransit services in eight counties and 40 cities.

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