Photo by Grace Inez Adams and Emily Sawicki.

Train: Metro riders at the Downtown Santa Monica E Line (Expo) Station Tuesday were offered coffee provided by the LA County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) as part of ongoing outreach efforts. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who is currently running to retain his role, and LASD Transit Services Bureau Captain Shawn Kehoe were both present at the event. LASD manages security on platforms at the three Metro stations in Santa Monica; the Department’s contract to provide Metro security services, alongside Los Angeles Police Department and Metro Transit Security, has become a point of contention with the County Supervisors. 

“Right here in Santa Monica is one of our busiest platforms and we’re here just to interact with the community, to hear anybody’s concerns, hear anybody’s compliments, have a good cup of coffee with folks,” Kehoe said. “Public safety on Metro is our job; that’s what we’re here for and the best part of our job is being able to interact with ridership.”

“Interacting with the public in every which way possible is good,” Villanueva added. “Unfortunately, our line of work always puts us in conflict, you know ‘bad things are happening here come the cops,’ and this is a way to disassociate from that and just realize that no, we’re a part of the community, an integral part of the community and we’re here to help and I see a lot of smiling faces and happy people, so this is a very positive event.”