Last Update: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Authorities Beef Up Security at North Hollywood Red Line Station PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00

Cameras, ’No Loitering’ Signs Go Up

José Flores from North Holywood uses the Red Line Metro train to travel to downtown Los Angeles at least three times a week, and he’s seen his share of problems at the station.

“I’ve seen a lot of kids making too much noise or fighting,” he said.

That’s why Flores applauds the increase in security at the site where, on a daily basis, an average of 160,000 people pass through the gates as they travel on public transportation.

Metro and Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department officials announced the installation of a mobile unit carrying six cameras to monitor the parking lot and entrance into the Metro station.

“No loitering” signs were also placed in the area to try and stop those not using the public transportation from hanging around at the station and creating problems. Those who stay at the plaza for too long can be asked to leave by officers.

“We were having a lot of people just hanging here with no business, asking for free food, making litter, asking for change,” said Paul Gonzalez, Metro spokesperson, who added permanent cameras will be placed at the location by April.

José Hernandez, a Metro safety officer who patrols the plaza at the entrance to the station, said the change has been like “day and night” since the signs and the cameras went up. “With the signs, it was like an overnight cleanup,” he said. “They’re worth their weight in gold.

“Before you saw a lot of people not doing much here and bothering people. Now you don’t see them anymore.”

One of those “no loitering” signs was placed in front of Reyna Gonzalez’ snack and soda cart. For the past two years she’s sold tamales and other food items to passengers there, and said fights were happening at the site with a lot of frequency lately.

“African Americans and Latinos were fighting, especially after school,” she said. “I think this is good because there won’t be any more problems.” The cameras feed into the Sheriff ’s Department, which is responsible for security on the Metro system.

Lt. Chris Mouat said “it helps us to keep track of what’s going on at the plaza. They can record, and if something happens, we can go back and check it.”

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian asked Metro officials to increase safety at the station after receiving complaints from passengers.

“It’s a safe system to use. The improvements just make it safer,” Krekorian said.

“We were noticing some criminal activity and acted to respond to those concerns. I think we’ve taken a big bite out of that activity. It’s made a dramatic difference, basically overnight. We want to send a message to people that this is their transit system and we want to make sure they feel comfortable using it.”

Antonio Valerio travels from Canoga Park to downtown Los Angeles twice a week, starting with the Orange Line and then transferring to the Red Line at the North Hollywood Metro Station. He also appreciates the increase in security.

“I think it’s good for everybody’s safety. In case something happens, we’re going to be better protected,” Valerio said.

How To Stay Safe Waiting Or Riding

Whether standing on a platform or riding on a train, there are several safety guidelines to follow for your protection and those who many be traveling with you.

Among them:

◆ Don’t play near buses, trains or
tracks; pushing and shoving can
cause accidents.

◆ Hold on to your child when a
train approaches.

◆ Wait for exiting passengers to
leave, then board.

◆ Take a seat if possible; use

◆ Be ready to exit when you
arrive at your stop.

◆ Step away after exiting.

◆ Always stand away from the
edge of platform.

◆ Don’t skate or ride your bike on
the platform, stairs or escalators.

◆ Watch the gap between the
platform and train.

◆ Don’t lean against train doors;
keep hands clear.

◆ Never climb railroad vehicles
or walk on the tracks.

◆ Be Alert — most thefts are
surprise grabs, with phones
or other items taken from
unsuspecting riders who may be
engrossed in using them at that

◆ Be Secure — put your phone
away when getting on and off
trains and buses. It’s a prime time
for thieves to strike.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 02:49

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