LOS ANGELES - Shocking new videos obtained by KFI Radio have been released of violent crimes occurring on Metro buses and trains.
The video release comes amid a heated dispute over whether the sheriff’s department should have sole authority to patrol the Metro.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva called the current shared system of policing the county's transit system a failure. He threatened to pull all his deputies from transit patrol duties on July 1 unless his department is awarded a contract to provide all policing on buses, trains and stations.
Metro says safety is their top priority and released the following statement in response to the videos, "We are obviously disappointed that this video was created by the Sheriff’s Department to use isolated incidents over a three-year period to make a point as part of an ongoing contractual disagreement. We don’t believe its release contributed to the public good nor does it reflect the daily reality."
A Metro board member has ordered a report by next month on how Metro would handle security if Villanueva carries through on his threat to pull his deputies.
The sheriff said that due to a hiring freeze on his department, the agency is approaching 1,000 vacancies, and he is more than willing to pull the 300 deputies currently assigned to the transit system and shift them to other duties to help fill the void.
Under a contract originally approved in 2017, policing duties on the Metro system are shared by the sheriff's department and the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments.
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