State

Metra steps up security on suburban Chicago lines

CHICAGO – Metra officials say they're stepping up police patrols for the northern Illinois commuter rail.

CEO Alex Clifford says in a statement Wednesday that the new safety initiative is starting immediately as officers switch from car patrols to foot patrols. The change will include an increased police presence in parking lots, on platforms and aboard trains.

Spokesman Michael Gills says the changes aren't tied to an increase in crime or a safety issue. Instead, he said, the rail service wants to make its police presence more visible to riders.

Metra's police force has about 100 officers who patrol seven of the system's 11 lines. The BNSF and Union Pacific lines aren't patrolled by the agency since they're released by Metra.

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