Recently, there have been a lot of discussion about the role of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in policing Metro rail lines. Traditionally, it seems that the relationship between sheriff and blogger was that the sheriff’s would barely ever check tickets or provide a visible presence and for our part we would make fun of them.
However, recently that relationship has changed. Maybe it was the Metro Board’s move to replace Sheriff’s with turnstiles. Maybe it’s something else. Ever since Bus Bench writer Randall "Bus Tard" Flemming was arrested and booked for filming in a public space to Keep Us Safe from Terrorists, the Sheriffs are being portrayed as overagressive enforcers of the law.
Feel these stereotypes are unfair? Feel they’re the fairest portrayals in the world? Well, Metro needs to vote on a proposal to extend their contract with the Sheriff’s Department at next week’s executive management committee meeting and at the Board meeting the following week. It’s rare to have a chance to publicly weigh in on how our local Peace Officers are performing their jobs and behaving, but in the next two weeks, transit riders will have not one, but two chances. The proposed contract would only extend the contract until March, because the current contract is set to expire at the end of the year and the Board hasn’t decided what to do about the contract considering that the need to check people’s tickets will go down once the turnstiles are in place.