RTD approves security contract with increase in unarmed guards

An increase in unarmed security guards will help RTD and its security provider keep watch over trains, buses and platforms on the Regional Transportation District’s system in the next year after the agency’s board Tuesday night approved a one-year contract extension.

Allied Universal Security Services will be paid up to $20.3 million, depending on staffing levels, under the one-year extension that takes effect Friday. RTD has faced calls for more security staffing throughout its system because of an increase in drug use, violence and other problems, and the extended contract looks likely to bring modest upticks.

As Allied continues hiring, contract changes include converting armed officer positions on three privately operated commuter-rail trains — the A, B and G lines — to unarmed positions, which is expected to reduce train cancellations.

The move also will free up armed officers for other enforcement duties, RTD transit police Chief Steve Martingano told The Denver Post this week.

The board approved the extension 13-1, with Director Bobby Dishell voting no. He said the greater security challenges that have faced RTD and many other transit agencies since Allied’s current contract was approved three years ago would justify a reconsideration of the security setup, along with a fresh bid process.

His colleagues took a different view, with Director Shelley Cook saying: “I like the approach — I like what’s underway. It looks like we’re making progress.”

Allied’s staffing is supplemented by a small transit police force and assistance from metro Denver police departments.

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