The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) project to install security cameras at 'L' stops across the city has been completed six weeks ahead of schedule.
In all, nearly 1,800 additional cameras have been installed at 78 CTA rail stations during a fast-track initiative that was announced in June.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CTA President Forrest Claypool and Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Garry McCarthy spoke at the Clinton Green/Pink Line station, where police recently used footage from newly installed station cameras to identify, arrest and charge an offender responsible for attacking and robbing a woman of her purse in an elevator a block away from the station. The same offender had previously appeared in surveillance footage using a stolen credit card, which connected him to a car burglary near CTA Headquarters two weeks earlier.
"The cameras have caught criminals but also serve as a deterrent, helping to ensure the highest level of security for our transit system,” said Emanuel. “This is not just an investment in our rail system but in our neighborhoods. More security; more stations; more service: the CTA cameras are one part of our re-make of the CTA to modernize it and bring it into the 21st century."
In the last five months, images pulled from CTA surveillance cameras have assisted CPD in the arrest of at least 47 individuals for crimes committed either on or near CTA property. Of these arrests, at least 23 offenders have been identified as participants in multioffender attacks or crimes; at least 16 individuals have been identified for serial crimes committed on CTA property and at least 10 individuals have been identified for crimes committed off CTA property.
“These new cameras have been instrumental in helping to solve a number of crimes since we began installing them in June—including three murders that took place away from CTA property as well as a string of serial robberies, one involving a shotgun that happened on CTA property,” Claypool said. “This is just what we envisioned when we set out to fast-track the installation of these additional cameras at our rail stations.”
“These cameras are a critical tool for the Chicago Police Department to help keep riders safe and bring criminals to justice. Through close collaboration with the CTA we will continue to work to decrease crime and provide the greatest level of safety on our city’s public transportation system,” said McCarthy.
Since June, the CPD’s Public Transit Unit has conducted 286 Rail Saturation Missions that have resulted in the arrest of 123 individuals and the issuance of nearly 300 citations for minor offenses and 316 contact cards.