CHICAGO — The CTA is bringing dogs back to patrol trains and stations as crime continues to plague the transit system.
The agency has signed an 18-month, $30.9 million contract with private security firm Action K-9, according to a Wednesday news release. Action K-9 will train 100 unarmed guards and 50 dogs to patrol the city’s rail system.
Each K9 team will have two guards and a canine, but details on their deployments and shifts have yet to be finalized, according to the CTA. The security dogs will be stationed near turnstiles to deter fare evasion and increase security presence, according to the agency.
Muzzled dogs with handlers patrolled CTA platforms for years before being taken off the job in 2019, when the CTA said two-person teams could better protect the trains, according to the Tribune. But state and court records obtained by the Tribune showed many guards were not properly licensed to work with dogs.
Now, Action K-9 is working with the CTA as the transit agency tries to bolster security across the board.
The CTA has struggled with a variety of problems — including an increase in crime and people urinating and smoking on public transportation — as ridership fell during the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Supt. David Brown announced police will beef up security on trains and platforms by sending out desk cops.
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