With the launch of sbX rapid transit service fast approaching, our security team has been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure they are well prepared.
It’s a challenge Omnitrans security supervisor Mark Crosby takes seriously.
“The stations, the park-and-rides were all designed with crime prevention in mind,” he explains.
“Extensive planning went into the stations using CPTED, Crime Prevention Though Environmental Design. It was important to have good visibility from the street for our security patrols and law enforcement. Artwork was strategically placed so that it could be easily monitored and transparent glass was used.”
Omnitrans also collaborated with other local groups to form a Safety and Security Council that focused on safety and security planning of the sbX stations. The Council was comprised of representatives from the following groups:
- San Bernardino Police Department
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Terrorism Liaison Officer
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Loma Linda Station
- San Bernardino County Fire Department, Office of Emergency Services
- Loma Linda University Medical Center Security
- Loma Linda Fire Department
- California State University at San Bernardino Police Department
- VA Hospital Police in Loma Linda
The Council worked together to establish appropriate security procedures and responses. For example, they wanted to ensure that customer service phones were available as well as emergency call boxes, so that law enforcement wasn’t getting call about bus arrivals.
Unlike bus stops and transit centers which are maintained by the cities, the sbX station platforms are owned and maintained by Omnitrans.
“This is the first time we’ve owned outside property, and we are taking pro-active measures to prevent potential problems before they happen,” says Crosby. “We monitor station activity 24/7 with patrols and cameras. We have also enhanced our team with several new officers who will be patrolling the corridor looking for things like suspicious activity, trespassing after hours, vandalism loitering, medical issues and mechanical problems.”
Crosby says the officers, contractors from General Security Services, are highly skilled professionals whose training includes crisis management, conflict resolution, emergency response procedures, traffic control, first aid, diversity and crowd control. They are also licensed ham radio operators equipped to handle emergency communications.General Security Services also supplies the specially equipped patrol truck the officers will use on their rounds. Designed by a former cop, the vehicle is developed with the officer in mind.
It features a light bar with a high beam LED spotlight bar beneath, a front push bar, a power inverter, a PA system, a toolkit, a trauma bag, yellow security tape, a laptop, emergency barriers with flashers, and orange pylons.
At the Omnitrans San Bernardino office, sbX security officers observe station activity 24/7 from a central security hub. Not only do they watch for suspicious activity, they also monitor station conditions for potential hazards from illegally parked cars to overflowing trash cans.
“Security has been a key component throughout this process,” explains Mark. “From station development to implementing new monitoring technologies, our primary goal has been to ensure safety along the sbX corridor.”
– Juno Kughler Carlson