Deputies could replace private security on MCTS buses

NOW: Deputies could replace private security on MCTS buses

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- MCTS buses could be staffed with Sheriff's deputies instead of private security guards in the future. 

The Public Works and Transit Committee voted 6-0 to move ahead with a study about bus safety. 

A representative from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says they are willing to cooperate and are interested in participating in the study but the Sherif doesn't have an opinion either way on replacing private security officers with deputies. 

Union leaders spoke in support of it, but one said he would like both the Sheriff's deputies and private security. Board member Marina Dimitrijevic says she is concerned with the cost and the potential strain it will put on the Sheriff's Office. MCTS officials say they support the study and one of the resolution's sponsors, Dan Sebring, says it's necessary to keep people safe. 

"We have a pretty serious problem on our transit system. Drivers are assaulted routinely. Nothing seems to be done about it. I've talked to a number of drivers, a number of passengers, and they all agree with what is needed on MCTS buses is law enforcement, not private security," said Dan Sebring, County Supervisor 11th District. 

"This will have a better deterrent that may deescalate matters on its own which would be helpful so we are planning to participate in this study as requested and we'll do what we can to make sure that study is a success," said MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm. 

Right now, the private security costs $1.6 million each year. It's not known how much it would cost to add Sheriff's deputies to buses. 

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