DENVER (KDVR) — RTD’s police chief is suggesting changes to safety policies.

This comes after a video from an attack on an RTD light rail station was released earlier this week.

On RTD’s safety policy, there are folks who want to crack down on dangerous crimes and unsafe rides. Then there are some who don’t want any safety changes that would discriminate against people, and caught in the middle are the folks who depend on RTD for their daily commute.

Kailey Lane rides an RTD light rail line five days a week.

“I ride the D line from Littleton to downtown Denver,” Lane said. At times her experience with other folks on her ride is anything but pleasant.

“They can be violent,” Lane said. “I’ve seen them argue with each other, throw hands.”

She provided a photo of what looks like someone smoking on her ride.

“They have used drugs on the light rail, I’ve seen,” Lane said.

On her ride, she’s seen cigarette butts and seats stained with what she thinks is vomit.

“The light rail is very dirty,” Lane said. “I do notice a ton of alcohol bottles all over the train.”

RTD police chief focuses on rider safety

A recent attack caught on camera has been part of what compelled proposed changes to RTD’s safety policy.

“This proposal is about customer and employee safety,” RTD Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, said. Fitzgerald brought safety proposals to RTD’s Board of Directors on Wednesday.

Among the proposals is a suspension for riders who violate RTD rules.

“Chronic offenders and those are who certain parts of this are aimed towards,” Fitzgerald said.

One major change is hiring more sworn officers to RTD’s police force, increasing the current force of 21 to 70 by the end of the year and the doubling that to a total of 140 by 2025.

RTD reports a drop in crimes in 2022 at Union Station, compared to the previous two years.

“In order to keep those gains, to keep us moving in the right direction and to replicate that success throughout the region, we have to be aggressive,” Fitzgerald said.

Lane said rides could be made safer ahead of any worst-case scenario.

“I would like to see it be the opposite, where you’re trying to fix the problem before it gets worse,” Lane said.

RTD’s Board of Directors is hoping for more input from the public about these proposed safety changes before any vote is held about them.

About a dozen folks gave their input at Wednesday night’s virtual meeting.