Brown calls for SEPTA to increase police presence

State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., has called for a dramatic increase in uniformed police presence at all high-speed SEPTA stations, in addition to the creation of specialized anti-crime units, following the shooting of a 19-year-old at the 15th Street Station on the Market-Frankford Subway/Elevated Line, which resulted in chaos as police chased suspects through the City Hall courtyard. 

Brown is calling on SEPTA’s acting chief of police, Charles Lawson, to implement increased security measures, with priority given to rapid transit, including the subway, elevated, and light-weight rail trolleys.

“All SEPTA buses should be equipped with silent panic buttons where bus operators can alert police to their location via GPS in real time,” Brown said.  

Brown said there have been several violent attacks on SEPTA in recent months, including multiple stabbings and a woman sexually assaulted in a train car full of riders. 

“Some people have no choice but to ride on SEPTA,” Brown said. “People are scared to ride; there needs to be police protection offered for riders and SEPTA employees. The conditions on the train are horrible, from trash to drug paraphernalia and consumption, to incredibly violent and senseless attacks. Public transportation is needed in large cities, and it’s beyond time to make it safe to ride again.”

According to Brown, although fewer people are riding, violent attacks and robberies on public transit have increased by 80% since 2019, and the only way to address safety is a larger police presence on all trains, buses and trolleys throughout the city.

"Enough is Enough," Brown said.