Guardians of the journey – National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day a chance to pay tribute to transit officers

Across the country – and across social media – people are taking a moment to show their support to all the men and women in uniform whose job it is to keep us safe. So maybe tip the toque as you pass by one of our transit officers.

Sure, their beat isn’t the entire galaxy.

We call them the ‘Guardians of the Journey’ – more than 150 Metrolinx special constables and revenue protection officers who work around the clock, to keep our customers safe and our system running smoothly.

Officers gather in an office inside Union Station.

Inside the Union Transit Safety Office, Transit Safety Officers can monitor train movements, passenger volumes and respond to calls inside the concourse quickly. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

On this day – National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (Jan. 9) – we thought we’d pause for a moment to boast about their dedication in watching over the rest of us, as we journey on.

Not only are they experts in railway and transportation safety, but they’re also a very highly skilled law enforcement team.

Transit Safety Officers are considered sworn special constables here in Ontario. That means they have the same powers of a police officer on or in relation to Metrolinx property.

An officer inspects small plastic bags constaining suspected drugs.

In this image from Jan. 9, 2020, Special Constable Dusan Rodic inspects what appears to be narcotics that were found by staff inside a transit vehicle. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

They also work very closely with local police forces and have strong partnerships with many different law enforcement agencies.

“Whether they are on a platform ensuring passenger safety, assessing security threats or ensuring that everyone pays their fair share – our teams do their work with dedication, vigour and respect,” said George Bell, Metrolinx vice president of Safety and Security.

An officer checks a PRESTO card, held out by a customer.

Revenue Protection Officer Deveroux Mitchell conducts a fare inspection onboard a Lakeshore East train at Union Station. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

And it’s a job that seems to get a bit busier each year. In 2018, the Transit Safety team at Metrolinx received 30,106 calls for service. In 2019, there were 30,247.

Image shows the uniform patch of a Special Constable, outside Union Station.

A transit officer patrols outside of Toronto’s Union Station on Jan. 9, 2020. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

“These highly trained professionals are dedicated, selfless and unyielding in their work,” Bell added.

“I personally want to thank them, and all our law enforcement partners, for the work they do in making Metrolinx and Ontario a better, safer place.”

Story by Matt Llewellyn, Metrolinx spokesperson and senior advisor, Media Relations and Issues.