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House leaders press Amtrak CEO for answers about reported decision to reduce the number of Amtrak police

(Source: House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee press release, June 20, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and 51 Members sent a letter to the President and CEO of Amtrak expressing concerns over possible cuts to Amtrak’s Police Department (APD) that will result in fewer security forces on duty. The workforce reduction would come as incidents on Amtrak’s network have increased in recent years.

Amtrak’s reported plans to cut their police department by 20 percent, over the next several years, became public last month. The cuts would amount to roughly 100 jobs lost and could put Amtrak safety and security at risk. This decrease in the police force comes on top of existing vacant commissioned officer positions. Members of Congress are pressing Amtrak for justification of this proposed reduction in security presence, noting that Amtrak failed to provide Congress with sufficient information about the plan before moving forward.

“The APD workforce is central to ensuring the safety and security of Amtrak passengers, workers, infrastructure, and the communities through which trains travel. Maintaining the safety and security of an intercity passenger rail network poses unique challenges. Unlike other transportation modes that operate in contained spaces, Amtrak’s sprawling network consists of open and accessible track and stations across 46 states. Protecting this intricate network requires expertise that provide for expedient response times that help Amtrak’s passengers feel safe while also minimizing delays that could have cascading effects on service,” the Members wrote.

Full text of the letter can be found below at the link above.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

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