Bus driver safety measures

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by Tiffany Tarpley

From protective shields to defensive weapons some believe more needs to be done to keep Milwaukee County Transit drivers and their passengers safe.

There have been several attacks on drivers over the past few months.

“It’s got to be sent out a message to the riding public and thugs out there that this is not going to be tolerated by anyone out there,” said Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 Vice President, Rick Bassler.

Bassler said prosecuting the attackers with felonies and adding more security is an important part of that message. There are also protective shields on 25 buses right now to protect the drivers but there are many more in the fleet without them. Some of the drivers are concerned about glare issues with those current shields.

“Right now they need a grant to put more safety shields in the buses but we first have to find a shield that we’re comfortable with before we go out and get a grant for them,” said Bassler.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke tells CBS 58 he’s made several recommendations in the past about equipping the drivers with training and defensive weapons but so far he said nothing has come of it.

“The reality is they shouldn’t have to sit idly by and be attacked unprovoked, sucker attacked, [and] sneak attacked,” he said.

The spokeswoman for Milwaukee County Transit said cameras are installed on the buses and they do work to track down and prosecute the attackers.

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