Police now on guard at westside MAX stations

Police now on guard at westside MAX stations

PORTLAND, Ore. - TriMet officials announced Wednesday that they have officially opened a new westside police precinct on the MAX line.

Beaverton and Hillsboro police officers and Washington County deputies will now be on guard at the MAX light rail stations.

Safety has been a major concern on the west and east side of the MAX light rail lines, and TriMet officials said the patrols could help reduce crime.

Some of the crimes committed recently included a man that was attacked with a baseball bat at a MAX stop and a mother and son that were attacked by three men on East Burnside near another MAX station.

The added security could also help keep Fareless Square fareless.

TriMet officials had proposed charging fares between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in the free travel area as a way to reduce rowdy and illegal behavior, including drug dealing that has been made easier by suspects hopping on and off the MAX line within Fareless Square.

After receiving 700 letters about the proposal, the agency decided not to take action in January. 

But now TriMet officials hope the increased patrols will take care of the crime issues and maintain the 33-year tradition of free travel downtown.

According to the plan, there will be four officers and a sergeant on the MAX and at transit stations west of the Zoo.