So far the law enforcement response to the rampant drug use on the Light Rail System is minimal at best because the perpetrators know the cops are coming. Any regular rider who is plagued by the people who are sleeping on the train, jumping on for a couple of stops, and smoking their substances on their pieces of aluminum foil is far more insightful than is law enforcement. Again, we have actively called on Metro Transit Commissioner Charles Zelle to respond more proactively.
There are dealers and spotters who are actively looking out for their clientele. They pop their heads out the doors of the train and spy up and down the train stops looking for the uniformed transit cops. Who often make the misguided approach to descend enforce with 5-6 officers at a time. No longer do they ask for the riders to produce a ticket, but rather just observe. This is only a momentary deterrent, but still an abject failure, because the perpetrators either just wait them out get off of the train and then smoke at the stop or catch the next train.
The point is the users are always one step ahead.
We have said, and will continue to say, there needs to be an undercover effort, where once the train is moving and the doors are closed the cops either are gathering information from their own spotters who identify the drug users, and signal ahead for the transit cops to arrest, or come out of the closed doors from the engineer’s room and catch people in the act.
The policing effort must be in direct response to the illegal acts, not a deterrence through mere presence unless there is going to be an officer in every car on every train.