SEPTA Receives Top National Honor for Efforts to Keep System Safe & Secure

SEPTA Receives Top National Honor for Efforts to Keep System Safe & Secure

SEPTA Transit Police Efforts Earn Gold Award from American Public Transportation Association

PHILADELPHIA (June 11, 2024) –SEPTA and the Transit Police Department have been recognized with the highest honor by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for efforts to improve the safety and security of customers and employees.

SEPTA received APTA’s Gold Award for Rail Security, which is presented to organizations with the best example of a safety, security, or emergency management program. SEPTA Police have made significant strides recently in reducing crime on the system, hiring and retaining officers, using innovative patrol methods, and utilizing technology to help prevent crime and apprehend suspects.

“Under the leadership of Police Chief Charles Lawson, SEPTA Police have made significant strides in making the system safer, more secure and welcoming to our customers,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “We are proud to receive this prestigious award from APTA, and we are committed to continuing to implement new strategies to build on these successes. SEPTA saw a 45% decrease in serious crimes on its system during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.”

SEPTA has made hiring and retaining new police officers a priority. Since last year, the department has added 45 new officers, bringing its total force to 227 officers. This has helped with efforts to increase visible police presence across the system, which has put more patrols in stations, as well as on trains, buses and trolleys. SEPTA is also partnering with the Philadelphia Police Department to increase overall police presence on the system.

In addition, SEPTA Transit Police have launched a new Virtual Patrol Unit to maximize its more than 30,000 surveillance cameras across the system. This seven-person unit is staffed by retired law enforcement professionals who monitor video feeds and dispatch officers where they are needed most.

“This award is a testament to the hard work that is done every day by the men and women of the SEPTA Transit Police Department,” said SEPTA Police Chief Charles Lawson. “They are committed to making SEPTA safe and secure for our customers, and we look forward to implementing new programs that will build on these successes.”

Award nominations are evaluated on four criteria: effectiveness, benefit level, innovation, and transferability. The top honor is the Gold Award, which is presented to organizations with the best example of a safety, security, or emergency management program.

“These awards celebrate the commitment and efforts of public transit agencies and their employees who are dedicated to safeguarding the welfare of passengers, employees, and the communities they serve every single day,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “I extend my congratulations to the public transit agencies recognized today for their outstanding accomplishments in safety, security, and emergency management. They serve as shining examples within the industry, inspiring others to strive for excellence.”

For more information about SEPTA, visit www.septa.org. For more information about APTA winners winning programs, visit www.apta.com/2024awards.