Transit cops ready to go

VANCOUVER – Transit police could take over patrolling SkyTrain platforms across the Lower Mainland by the end of the month.TransLink currently has security officers on duty, but they haven’t had the legal authority of being police officers.

TransLink has delayed the deployment of the the new force until Solicitor General Rich Coleman decides whether the officers can carry guns.Troy Henyecz has been part of the security team with TransLink for eight years. He says he’s tired of being called a “rent-a-cop” and says the change in status will help deal with difficult people.”The person looks at us as not being the police, and because their mind set is they’re not going to co-operate, that’s where the physical altercation comes in,” he says.

Former RCMP officer Bob Kind will be the chief of the new unit. He says the idea for transit police came out of necessity.”Sometimes some of our staff have called for police, and at times it’s been long wait periods, where you’ve either arrested somebody for transporting and you need their assistance.”Kind says most of TransLink’s special constables are former police officers and already have the training required.Once the new force is in place, Kind plans to ask the province for more authority for fare inspectors so they too can make arrests.