Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Saw Something, Said Something, Got Nothing

I wrote to the MBTA Chief of Police, Green line, Orange line, Tom Menino, and Mitt Romney about the following incident that happened 3 days after the first London bombings.
I only got a response from Mitt Romney.
The Governor of MA.
I guess he's got less to do than some MBTA hacks.
While it was very cool to get the letter from such a high office, it was overshadowed by the fact that nobody at the T gave a damn to even respond with so much as a form letter.
Here's my letter:

My family was traveling from Oak Grove to BU on Sunday, July 10.
As my wife, sister-in-law and I waited on the North Station inbound platform to board a Green Line train, there was an incident involving a suspicious man and a bag.
Apparently, the man either dropped or threw his bag on the Green Line tracks, just as a Heath St. bound train came into the station.
Another passenger alerted the train driver, who got on his phone, presumably to call the police.
We weren't really sure what was going on, but the man and the train driver were having an argument about the bag. At one point the man got on the train and proceeded to try to get into the drivers area.
The driver finally persuaded the man to leave the train.
Approximately 20 minutes had passed from the time the train pulled into the station and the Transit Police arriving.

Twenty minutes.

Why didn't the police arrive immediately, especially after the London bombings mere days ago?
The MBTA and the Governor have been saying the patrols of the system have been increased, yet there was not one officer at North Station, nor at Downtown Crossing on our way back out of the city.
The only difference was the announcements from Romney to say something if you see it.
Well, look how long it took the police to respond to the driver of a train saying something.

I've been taking the T almost every day for sixteen years, pass through major stations such as North Station, Downtown Crossing, and South Station, and not once have I seen an MBTA officer on the platforms.
If there are ten officers in South Station milling about on the concourse, how is that going to deter someone from leaving a bag on a train?

There should be officers on the platforms, as well as in the cars if you're really looking to protect the riders.

1 comment:

garyw said...

My friend told me about another incident on the commuter rail in Haverhill.

Someone had left a suitcase on the train, quite by accident. The train emptied and the crew took the train back to Bradford yard. The conductor noticed the suitcase and called the police.

The SWAT team took TWO HOURS to arrive. The conductor missed dinner and time with their family, waiting for them. TWO HOURS.

I hope that they've improved their response time since then. Part of Bradford could have been a smoking crater by the time they arrived.