BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New passengers will be riding the Light Rail in Anne Arundel County, and police will be joining Maryland Transportation Authority officers in an effort to boost security.

“That will allow our county police to step up enforcement in and around the stations, as well as on the trains themselves. That is very important and a first,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said.

The reason for the extra police presence, according to Police Chief Tim Altomare is because “There’s a fear that crime comes down on the Light Rail. I don’t think if you look statistically, that there’s any great number of crimes that are generating off Light Rail stops, but there is a clear and convincing feeling of fear about it.”

Police would not specifically list any crimes, but Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association Vice President Daniel Woomer did. He said it started with bicycle thefts shortly after the stations opened.

“It started accelerating. We had in the last years robberies, breaking and entering, we’ve had an elderly man mugged. It appears we have drug issues associated around the Light Rail stations also,” Woomer said.

County police officers will patrol station parking lots and nearby neighborhoods.

Ride alongs with transportation police could come during peak hours and big events, such as football and baseball games.

The extra security only extends through Anne Arundel County, which is fine by those who live near the stops.

“Having an increase in security, in police I think is a great idea,” Woomer said.

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