BOSTON (CBS) – They captured the Boston Marathon bomber. Seven years later the Transit Police says it no longer needs its elite SWAT team.
“I think it’s a very bad decision,” said State Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield). “These types of teams these emergency service units, you hope you never need them but when cops have to call cops to get out of a bad situation these are units they are calling, the skills and training they have. They have to be available for when that call comes in.”
The I-Team first reported the MBTA’s decision to disband SWAT last week. On Thursday, a dozen lawmakers sent a letter to Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green questioning the rationale of the decision. In a statement, the MBTA said, “The part time unit of five to six officers had not been deployed in several years.
“To keep crime rates on the MBTA at their lowest levels in decades, Chief Green and his command staff have made informed decisions that maximize the department’s limited resources and help maintain a safe transit environment for both riders and employees.”
Incidents of crime are down 15% from the same time last year, but some lawmakers say public transportation has long been a target of terrorism and needs a specialized SWAT team.
“Having these teams with capabilities they have they minimize loss of life,” Sen. Velis said. “Look I hope we have an interview in 30 years from now, that they didn’t need to use them once but that one time they need to use them they better be there.”