Teenagers to Transit Police: You’re failing at your job

MBTA Transit Police

It’s report card time for the MBTA and, according to some Boston teens, the Transit Police didn’t make the grade.

Students from the Hyde Square Task Force, a Jamaica Plain-based youth community development organization, said officers are failing to communicate with teens and some feel “disrespected” by “rude” officers who interact with them daily.

The group is scheduled to hand-deliver a report card to Transit Police at Jackson Square station today with the hope that officers will work with them to improve police personnel behavior.

“They can be rude to students,” said 17-year-old Astrid Pena. “Yelling, sometimes they confiscate bus passes, kick [students] out of the train station.”

Pena said there have been instances where officers allegedly “point out specific groups” and search them “without a valid reason.”

“Just things that shouldn’t be happening,” she said. “It’s going to create a barrier between youth and police.”

The group will also reveal results of a recent survey of 700 students that take the T. Results this year showed 218 young riders “strongly agree” that T police could use better training when it comes to communicating with Boston teens.

According to the survey, 242 students said Transit Police have not been successful in making them feel safe when on public transit. “The general vibe — [police] are not going to get a passing grade,” said Carla Poulos, manager of organizing and policy initiatives for the youth group. Poulos said some of the interactions have created “racial barriers” between teens and officers.

However, the survey results weren’t all negative. According to the report, 39 percent of students said T Police act in a respectful way toward teens, up from the 2010 survey.

Pena said students could be more cooperative with cops, too. “This is a 50-50 type of situation. We are not just putting all the blame on Transit Police,” she said.

Transit Police want to work together

For a second year, students will deliver Transit Police a report card.

Deputy Chief Joseph O’Connor said he feels officers “do a very good job,” but he is willing to work with the youths to make more changes if necessary.

“We will continue to have an open dialogue with the group to try and build better relationships,” he said. “We have met with them over the past years, and we believe we can work together to find solutions.”

O’Connor said officers went through additional training to improve youth-cop relations after the last survey.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with…

With $620 million in estimated pre-tax earnings, veteran rapper and record producer Dr. Dre topped Forbes list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the…

News

Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in U.S.…

A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.

National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Television

Craig Ferguson wants you to see his new…

Craig Ferguson thinks his new game show will become "a comedy show in which a game is played and money is won."

Television

Anthony Anderson on dealing with your 'ish'

Anthony Anderson discusses finding the humor in his "Black-ish" family.

Gossip

Photos: See who Robert Pattinson was caught holding…

Robert Pattinson has a new girlfriend.

The Word

The Word: Kris and Bruce Jenner's predictably public…

They said it wouldn't last — mostly because of that separation almost a year ago. And now, more than a year later, Kris and Bruce…

MLB

Bud Selig honors Derek Jeter as both prepare…

Bud Selig’s 22-year reign as commissioner will end Sunday, and while it’s had its share of negative moments, it also had Derek Jeter.

NFL

Column: Geno Smith not the answer for Jets…

There were highs for Jets quarterback Geno Smith in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and there were incredible lows.

NFL

3 things that went right in Jets loss…

It wasn't the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit.

Sports

Here's the 8 best and worst sporting goodbyes

With Derek Jeter set to retire following the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we look back at some of the great and not-so-great sporting goodbyes.

Home

NYC fall real estate hot list

The upcoming developments and areas everyone's buzzing about.

Style

Milan Fashion Week shows the best of Italian…

Metro rounds up the cut of the collections at Milan Fashion Week.

Tech

The 2014 Maker Faire saw robots, printers and…

Got a broken button maker? There’s a fix for that – and Tony Stanzione of the Fixers’ Collective says he can show you how.

Parenting

First look: Uniqlo's fall/winter 2014 kids collection

Get a sneak peek at Uniqlo's kids and babies fall/winter 2014 line.