By David Schultz
Every year when students return to school, Metro Police Officers patrol train stations and platforms in the hours after students get out of class. Security this year will be tighter than usual.
The scene at the Van Ness Metro Station at 3:30 in the afternoon can be described as “controlled chaos.”
Students from Wilson High School, which is temporarily relocated to nearby UDC, pour into the station, while police officers survey the platform, making sure nothing gets out of hand.
Deputy Chief Tracie Simmons says Metro changed its policy for after-school patrols earlier this month in the wake of a massive 70-person brawl.
“I think what we learned from that incident is that it’s very important for us to be at the stations when the children are entering the station and when they’re leaving the station, but I think that we’ve also learned that we need to be on the trains too,” says Simmons.
Simmons says both uniformed and plain-clothes officers will be riding trains every afternoon after classes as local high schools get out.