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Violence Interrupters guards learn martial arts to patrol CTA Red Line trains on Friday


CHICAGO (CBS) – We hear too often about CTA attacks on both employees and passengers on trains and buses. Like CTA builds up your security plan with more unarmed guards in the public transportation system, volunteers will also join them on Friday.

Organizers of the Violence Interrupters group said about 20 unarmed martial arts-trained security guards will ride Red Line trains in an 8-hour shift on Friday to help prevent crime.

This comes after the CTA announced it was working on a deployment 300 unarmed guards to the entire transit system every day, compared to the current 200.

In both cases, these guards are unarmed, and many are trained in conflict resolution.

But Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241 president Keith Hill said he was not convinced it would all help.

“They’re unarmed. You know, if people aren’t afraid of the police, what makes them even … what can they stop? What can they do?” he said.

Instead, Hill wants more police presence in the CTA.

Violence Interrupters chief organizer Tio Hardiman said he believes there is room for both.

“While the police are being called, someone was attacked. We would like to stop it until it happens,” he said.

Overall, crime at the CTA has risen 40% this year.

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