Bus drivers face vicious beatings,
transit cops nowhere to be found

The Greater Vancouver transit police force
is a retirement perk for do-nothing double-dippers

Nov. 30, 2011


It’s a staple of the Lower Mainland media — stories of vicious, cowardly assaults on bus drivers who often can’t return to work due to serious, permanent injuries. But as a frequent transit passenger I’ve never, ever seen a transit cop on a bus. I think they’re too scared.

A Nov. 30 Vancouver Sun story says drivers are now calling for “more” transit police on buses. I think the reporter got it wrong. The drivers might have called for police period, not “more” police. Or maybe they’re referring to transit security guards, who aren’t police officers.

Hiring “more” transit police would achieve little because they do so little. For the most part, transit cops huddle together in large groups far away from trouble spots. Consider, for example, the incident last May when a big, scary-looking guy was brandishing a sword on the SkyTrain all the way from Metrotown to Burrard. That’s a 16-minute ride, according to TransLink’s schedule. But the transit cops were nowhere to be found. They must have been hiding.

Occasionally they’ll do fare-checks and issue tickets with fines that aren’t even enforced. For that, they carry guns and Tasers, and they band together for safety. For the most part their lot is a cushy sinecure for anyone who can handle the boredom.

The entire TransLink security system badly needs an overhaul, starting with the preposterously named South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service (yes, that really is their official name).

But that won’t happen. The most recent news of a badly beaten bus driver closely followed the announcement that another retired cop, Neil Dubord, will become the next transit police chief. As far as I know, all transit police chiefs have been retired cops and, judging by the look of them, most of the rank and file too.

Frankly it’s hard to have confidence in a force made up of so many old geezers double-dipping their way through retirement. Others are cops who’ve chosen to take a big step down in their policing career. They’ve found a soft job and I think they intend to keep it that way.

The funny thing is, some of them really like to act tough. But beyond a doubt, a bus driver’s job is incomparably more dangerous than that of a transit cop.

Where were Vancouver’s transit police hiding when a sword-wielding psycho
terrorized the busiest stretch of SkyTrain for 16 minutes?
“There is no good reason to maintain Chief Neil Dubord’s $27-million-a-year empire…
As for crime-fighting, where is the civic pantheon of SkyTrain heroes?”
Dangerously dumb, dishonest transit cops lose bomb
on an Air Canada plane, then keep it secret
The same transit cop who left explosives on a passenger plane
abused a police dog and lied repeatedly
The same Greater Vancouver transit police serial offender used a cop car for personal trips
to the U.S. Oh, and by the way — did he really resign? Or did he retire on full pension?
Vancouver transit cop Brian Lawson charged with assaulting a police officer,
fellow SkyTrain goof Ken Jansen charged with assaulting a 73-year-old hospital patient.
“Their reputation is taking hits all over. The organization should be wound down.”
“Transit police are overpaid fare takers”
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