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Police officers add comfort on Longview Transit buses

By Jessica Ferguson
May 9, 2012 at 10 p.m.

Longview police and Longview Transit have teamed up to make riders feel more comfortable using public transporation.

The program places Police Area Representative (PAR) officers on buses throughout the city at various times and on various routes.

"We want to bring greater safety awareness to riders," said Rob Stephens, Longview Transit general manager.

The public transit system has a perception problem, he said. Generally, people view such systems in a bad light.

The security program serves two purposes: The first is to provide a more secure environment to those using public transit, said Kristie Brian, a spokeswoman for the Longview Police Department. The second is community outreach.

The program is also beneficial for the agencies involved. In addition to providing a safer environment for passengers, the police get a lot out of it, too.

"Our police get to really see our routes and what is happening on our buses and at our stops," Stephens said.

He said he hopes the increased visibility of officers on city buses would deter those who might be thinking about engaging in criminal activity.

Police will ride the buses once a month.

"We just want our riders to feel safe," Stephens said.



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