Police Presence on Light Rail at MSP Airport to Extend Through Next Year

U.S — It is anticipated that the presence of law enforcement officers on board the light rail trains at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport would continue throughout the next year. Both Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Airport Commission place a high value on passenger safety on the trains and are currently debating whether or not to enter into a cooperative agreement to maintain the presence of officers on trains travelling between Terminals 1 and 2.

Nancy Walz is one of the numerous employees of an airline who parks their car at Terminal 2 and takes the light rail to Terminal 1. However, she has observed a distinct difference. Walz noted that “it’s cleaner, I don’t walk into a cloud of drug smoke,” that “there’s no needles laying everywhere,” that “there’s no urine everywhere,” that “I’m not being spit on,” and that “they’ve gone a long way.”

In February, the airport and Metro Transit police increased the number of cops present on trains travelling between Terminals 1 and 2. Since then, the number of requests for assistance at this location has decreased by 75%, according to Ernest Morales, Chief of the Metro Transit Police Department.

In an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Chief Morales stated, “It has drastically improved month over month to where we are currently.” Airport police will conduct patrols of the trains beginning at 4 a.m. and continuing until noon, after which Metro Transit officials will take over.

Morales added the Bloomington police department and the Transportation Security Administration are also assisting. Because of the limited resources available to each of us, we need to completely rethink how we approach policing, as Morales put it.

It is anticipated that uniformed officers will continue to ride the airport trains until February of 2024. “We want a uniformed presence out here to make everyone feel comfortable,” Morales said. “We want to make everyone feel safe.” Walz used to think the situation was so serious that she was terrified to go to work, but now she feels safer using the train.


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