Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Going over my verifiable logging of the various assaults in the district and putting them together for everyone. The numbers may be off by a few here or there, but here is the list of logged events.
2/12 assault (spitting in the face)
2/19 menacing w/drink thrown on the driver
3/18 assault (post implementation of fare policy)
4/18 assault (spitting)
5/4 menacing (driving w/diminished capacity needed a welfare check by sup)
5/16 sexual assault
5/22 menacing (one of the worst calls of op terror)
6/2 assault (max operator)
6/9 assault (spit and pepper sprayed op)
6/14 assault (rail op hit with a pipe)
6/18 assault (spitting in face)
6/24 assault (streetcar op)
7/1 assault (spitting in face)
7/3 Assault (spitting)
7/15 menacing (max op)
7/17 Menacing (with property damage)
7/29 menacing (max op)
8/3 assault (spitting)
8/9 assault (spitting)
8/25 Assault (First Transit op) 2 punches to the face and was not relieved of duty
8/23 Honorable mention – possible shot fired at a bus hitting the windshield on the left side
8/31 assault (spitting – hit in the face got in the eyes)
Totals: 60 as of 9/5 2017 and summer isn’t even up yet. Now last year, we were at 32…that shows you where we are as a transit district. Surpassing last year’s number of 55.
Some of the things that really stick out on this list is the episode of sexual assault, the terror of transit workers in these situations, and the treatment of transit workers when it comes to reasonable safety and security.
Sexual assault is always the most disturbing of these incidents, especially if you know the person. In this case the district stepped up and made sure that the operator was helped post crisis (from what I heard). This is a turnaround of sorts from the disaster in handling of these situations in the recent past.
Hearing these calls and feeling the distress in the survivor’s voice is heart wrenching. If you can listen to some of these calls and not draw tears, then you cannot understand that these are human beings and did not ask for an assailant to abuse them (both physically and or mentally). When fares are always mentioned as the main reason (in this list there were only a few) for an assault, it is used to shift the blame onto the transit worker for their unwanted aggression. Transit workers should not fall for this false narrative of blame for just doing your jobs, which requires you to inform riders of what it takes to ride public transit. We are human beings and we do not deserve abuse, especially when it is the responsibility of the district to provide reasonable safety and security so far, these numbers speak volumes.
In recent times, we have been talking about the treatment of transit workers, specifically our co-union members of First Transit and the inhumane treatment for the lack of bathrooms. The reason that I included they’re assault because it speaks to the continuing treatment of every transit worker under the district’s brand. In the bigger picture, the district does not have a policy on what to do “before” or “after” an assault. In all these cases, the district puts an emphasis on continuing to move vehicles, regardless of the situation; even with the physical and mental disposition of the transit worker. Safety of the transit worker and the public are “not” considered. In fixed route, if a transit worker decided to go home they can be subject to discipline for lost time, and hope to get workman’s compensation if it goes beyond 3 days. The lack of policy protecting the transit worker before or after an assault/menacing has yet to be considered on any level.
Your Brother on the front lines
Be vigilant be safe and always communicate