At any given moment, Transit Police have about 35 cops on duty.
“If something big comes up like the Chinatown fire the other day, it takes all our resources,” Transit Patrolman Bob Marino said. “If we have to respond to another incident, we don’t have the resources.”
Marino applauded Paul Regan of the MBTA Advisory Board on Wednesday for supporting a bill to fold the Transit Police into the State Police and help cut the T’s projected $130 million budget deficit.
“It’s consistent with other transportation agencies,” Regan said.
But while Regan said it would shift $36.6 million in costs from the MBTA to the Executive Office of Public Safety, others — including MBTA GM Rich Davey — aren’t sure it will save money, because Transit Police earn about $10,000 to $15,000 less than State Police.
“Who knows? It could be a set up for the T to spend more money,” Taisha O’Brien of the T Riders Union said. “The details are not clear.”
The State Police union resisted the proposal when it was originally brought up about six years ago. Marino said it would increase the police presence on the core of the T’s system while State Police could respond to distant stations.