TriMet adds more security to MAX trains

More security on TriMet MAX trains

PORTLAND, Ore. -- TriMet has increased security on MAX trains after last week's stabbing attack that left two men dead and a third wounded.

At the Hollywood Transit Center, the handful of memorials that have developed aren't going anywhere anytime soon. They serve as a reminder of the courage of three men, Rick Best, Taliesin Namkai Meche, and Micah Fletcher. Both Best and Namkai Meche died after standing up for two young girls who were riding the MAX. Fletcher is out of the hospital recovering from serious injuries.

“I was really terrified when I heard that this was the station. But I didn't know it was the one so close to home,” said Lacey Duckett, who rides the MAX about three times per week.

Many people have told KGW that they would feel more comfortable with more security on the MAX.

“People don't feel safe on the MAX. People don't feel safe walking, because people got a lot of hatred in their heart,” said Tommy Brown as he rode the train.

Some, like Jerry Conklin, are critical.

“It's really strange to me that they have to wait until something drastic happens before they start doing that,” said Conklin, who wishes trains had added security sooner.

TriMet officials said over the last year they've added training for their staff that includes de-escalation techniques. For now, there is increased security.

“What we are doing at TriMet is stepping up our patrols along the alignments of the light-rail system, particularly focusing in our central area, particularly from Rose Quarter to Gateway,” said Neil McFarlane, TriMet General Manager.

He said 61 armed transit officers have been asked to work overtime and to increase their presence on the MAX trains.

“I think they should be on there every day, 24-7 absolutely,” said Austin Phillips, who rides the MAX.

But some people said they're not necessarily for more armed officers on every MAX train.

“Don't make it seem like it's a threat to be on the MAX,” said Dexter Thornton.

While people we spoke with said they no longer feel unsafe going to the Hollywood Transit Center, they said more security wouldn't be a bad thing.

“I would personally feel more safe with more security on the MAX,” said Duckett.

Mcfarlane said there are also about 75 transit supervisors and 15 or so contracted security guards. The increased security presence will last for at least a few weeks longer. After that, he's hopeful that they will be able to hire more security, who could be outfitted with radios and Taser-like weapons.

More TriMet attack coverage

MAX stabbing victim: Teenage girls were the 'real victims'

Mayor Wheeler: Sunday's alt-right rally will go on as planned

Portland MAX attack: What we know

© 2017 KGW-TV


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