Police patrols begin on Gresham MAX lines

Police patrols begin on Gresham MAX lines »Play Video

GRESHAM, Ore. - Gresham police officers began patrolling TriMet MAX trains on Wednesday following the brutal attack of a 71-year-old man with a baseball bat over the weekend.

Riders have also submitted numerous complaints about security on the popular light-rail line. Police will also be checking for paid fares, saying non-paying riders are causing many of the problems.

Gresham's mayor said he is fed up with crime on the rail line and surrounding areas - including station platforms. The assignment of officers to the line stretches Gresham's police force, which has only seven officers on patrol at any given time.

The mayor said 84 percent of gang crimes that take place in city limits happen on or near the MAX line.

The mayor and police chief held a news conference Wednesday to discuss safety on the trains. Gresham's Chief of Police Carla Piluso said the city values the MAX line and that officers will patrol the trains for the foreseeable future.

More lights and security cameras will also be installed at station platforms. Gresham may have to hire new police officers to offset the light rail patrols.

One woman told KATU News she was "thrilled" to see the officers on patrol on the trains.

TriMet officials said they will also be adding more security personnel to the rail line and have said in the past that they welcome the added patrols by Gresham police.

TriMet officials did not attend Wednesday's news conference.