PORTLAND - Police are using plain-clothes officers to improve safety on TriMet.

When the doors close and a MAX train starts rolling, the officers announce who they are, and ask to see people's fares.

They say it prevents people without fares from running out the doors.

On Thursday, officers issued several people 30-day exclusions from riding TriMet. Police said they also often find people with outstanding warrants or tickets that have been altered.

This is where the validation stamp normally goes and its just been scratched out, one officer said, pointed to an altered fare.

One man even bolted from the train when approached by the officers, as KGW's cameras were rolling. But he was quickly caught and arrested for theft of services.

Transit police started using the tactic a couple of months ago, after seeing how other cities like Denver police their mass transit.

KGWReporterMark Hanrahan contributed to this report

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