Tampa Transit System Steps Up Security Following Bus Driver Fatality

Tampa Transit System Steps Up Security Following Bus Driver Fatality

A transit system near Tampa, Fla. is boosting security measures after a bus driver was stabbed to death by a passenger.

Staff and passengers of the Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit System (HART) in Tampa, Fla. will begin to see enhanced security measures starting June 1, the result of a plan to strengthen security and keep bus drivers safe.

The $1.3 million security changes have been slated for implementation for some time, but a recent incident on a HART bus has expedited the process. 

On May 20, HART bus driver Thomas Dunn was fatally stabbed, allegedly by a passenger, while on route. The stabbing came just five months after Dunn had spoke at a HART meeting, raising concerns about safety after he'd been assaulted by a passenger. 

At the time, HART told local reporters," As concerns are brought to HART, we develop corrective action plans and they're given to the appropriate division and then we follow all our safety protocol to make sure we are addressing them throughout policies and procedures."

Now, HART is making concrete changes to the safety and security of its staff and passengers. According to Colin Mulloy, the director of safety and security for HART, every bus and streetcar in the fleet will have brand new HD security cameras that will allow HART officials and law enforcement agents to tap into the video system and monitor any given situation in real-time. 

Mulloy also said there will be a video screen inside the busses to remind passengers that they are being recorded. Florida will be the first state to implement these kinds of security changes on buses.

In addition to new technology on the busses, armed guards will be stationed along certain drop-off and pick-up points to boost security.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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