Dallas Area Rapid Transit to Increase Security with Cameras
- By Sydny Shepard
- Feb 19, 2016
Safety advocates of Dallas are glad to hear that the largest transit agency in North Texas, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, will be getting security cameras on board the trains. And it’s going one step further; all the cameras within the transit system are being installed with facial-recognition software.
The DART units will start seeing the installation of these cameras this summer. That’s when the agency will have finished the pilot software that will be used not only to recognize the faces of those aboard the transit unit, but also will monitor train capacity and will alert law enforcement when a wanted person is on a DART.
Officials want to be sensitive to those who are afraid their privacy is being invaded. The software won’t be checking faces against existing law enforcement databases, driver’s license records or anything of the like. It will only be cross checking pictures that DART itself has uploaded to its database.
While DART officials haven’t specifically mentioned who they are looking out for, DART police chief James Spiller said the software will most likely be used when a law enforcement agency sends out alerts of missing or wanted persons.
The technology also has the ability to notify police when people board the trains that are frequent fair evaders or have been banned from a bus route or a train system in the past. It still hasn’t been decided if the software will be used that way, however.
All of the agency’s buses have cameras, and so do the stations at which the trains stop. The agency is making it clear that their intention is to add extra security to the riders by adding cameras to the trains. The agency is spending $4.8 million to outfit 48 of its 163 train cars this year and all trains should be outfitted with cameras by 2018.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.