Making MetroLink riders ‘feel’ safe

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The suspect in a murder on the MetroLink is in jail Thursday being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond. It’s the second killing tied to the regional transit system in less than a month.

“They do they need to get more security over here for real, for real,” said Jameshi Hamilton, a frequent rider.

Djion Oates, 18, was charged with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Police said he and 22-year-old Jesse Boone got into a fight on the back of the train as it pulled into the south UMSL Station.

“We have to the best we can to make the system as safe as we can,” said Jon Nations, CEO and President of Bi-State Development Agency, which runs MetroLink and other transportation systems.

Nations added that MetroLink and local law enforcement agencies dedicate more than 220 police, deputies, and security officers to the transportation system. With Thursday night’s homicide and the murder at the Busch Stadium stop just weeks ago, MetroLink officials said everything is on the table when it comes to make MetroLink safer.

“We try to have people all over the system, but as everyone will tell you, it’s very difficult to have someone at every location 21 hours a day that the system is actually running,” Nations said.

Not all riders are frightened. Matthew Roeder has been riding it for a dozen years.

“I’ve never felt unsafe on MetroLink. I think the security they have is great, obviously I know a lot of other people feel unsafe, so if they stepped it up it’s not going to hurt anything,” Roeder said.