The SEPTA Transit Police Department was created in 1981 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly (the state legislature). Although the Philadelphia Police Department maintained a transit unit with officers assigned to patrol in the subway concourses, these officers were primarily located in the center city (downtown) area. It was determined that by creating its own dedicated police force, SEPTA would be able to deal more directly with rising crime throughout its system. Another reason for determining that SEPTA needed its own police force, was due to the fact that the portable radios the city's police officers used did not always operate properly in the subway tunnels. As a result, they could not be depended on if an officer had to pursue a suspect through the tunnel area, or otherwise needed assistance. This problem still exists today, although recent efforts have been made to address the issue.
SEPTA Transit Police officers attend the Philadelphia Police Academy, and receive the same training as their municipal counterparts. They are commissioned by the governor of... Read More