DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is using a smartphone app to try and help keep their passengers safe.
The DART Say Something Safety and Security App gives passengers a way to report concerns directly to DART Police. DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said, “This is a way to provide us some additional information, to take pictures and some video, of what’s going on and to do it discreetly.”
For 15 years Stacey Lewis has been commuting and vividly remembers the day he saw a passenger onboard who he believed was safety threat. “I had a complaint one day on the train,” he said. “I think it’s a great app for security reasons and you can be anonymous.” With a few swipes and a text Lewis reported the incident to police and no one around him had to know.
In December the CBS 11 I-Team reported on the 60-percent increase in aggravated assaults on DART commuter rail over the last two years.
Today DART Police, Fare Enforcement Officers and transit employees are out promoting the app, as a matter of security, at some DART locations. As a part of the safety awareness campaign DART is handing out promotional items, information and rewards to encourage riders to downlad the app for free.
DART Police Chief James Spiller said, “We want their [passengers] eyes and ears to tell us what’s going on. Even though we’re not there we have that picture, we have that video. We can use the video to create a still-shot and, depending on the offense, we can then send that back out over the app to everyone who has downloaded the app to help us find that person and once we get an identification we then go make an arrest.”
Lyons says the Say Something app is just one of the measures DART is taking to make riders safer. The agency is also installing more lights at stations and hiring addition transit police officers.