Metro declared Operational Readiness on the Silver Line this morning at 5:30 a.m. This means Metro is now in control of the Silver Line and has up to 90 days to prepare for the start of passenger service.
As part of the turnover, Metro Transit Police Department has taken on security responsibility for the system. A new Silver Line patrol sector will police the line, and MTPD has staffed up in preparation for the expanded service.
The five new Silver Line stations are different than other parts of the Metro system because of the large number of police departments and fire and rescue squads that share responsibility for the area surrounding the new stations and rail line.
Transit Police has been working for more than a year to train and establish good working relationships with the three local jurisdictions that have authority in and around the Silver Line: Fairfax County, Virginia State Police, and the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority.
MTPD and other Metro staff have provided police officers and firefighters from these jurisdictions with Metro familiarization training, station walk-thrus, and courses on Metro roadway safety. All told, MTPD has trained more than 875 first responders from the three jurisdictions.
In the coming week, the MTPD will lead two emergency drills along the Silver Line. These drills will simulate real life scenarios, including the possibility of an emergency train evacuation along an elevated portion of the Silver Line track.
These drills will provide an opportunity for all of the different first responders to focus on coordination and practice unified command. The drills will pair officers from different departments together in teams, similar to what could happen in a real event when the first three officers arriving at the scene would need the familiarity and confidence to work together.
Despite the large number of local jurisdictions surrounding the Silver Line, Metro passengers should remember that any incident that takes place inside a Metro station or aboard one of our trains should be reported to the Metro Transit Police Department. To report a crime, unattended package, or suspicious activity call 202-962-2121 or send a text message directly to the police department at MYMTPD (696873).
Read about the Silver Line, in the news –
Metro takes control of Silver Line; service to start late summer (Washington Post, May 27, 2014)
Metro takes control of Silver Line (Washington City Paper, May 27, 2014)