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Volunteers Help Boost RT Security

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Even though millions of dollars in cuts have forced Regional Transit officials to make cuts across the board, including dozens of security officers, certain crimes are actually becoming less common.

Officials are crediting the drop in part to volunteers that have stepped up to keep an eye on public transportation.

Sacramento RT has suffered through about $3 million in cuts since 2008, leading to a 20 percent drop in service routes and the elimination of about 60 deputies, police officers and security guards.

Frequent RT rider Donna Miller says the changes have been noticeable and that some criminals have acted boldly since the cuts.

“As a group, they will just choose to pick on somebody sometimes,” she said.

One of the biggest security problems on Regional Transit, robberies, have dropped from 91 incidents in 2009 to just 71 last year.

In RT Police Services’ yearly update to the board on Monday, the security program’s volunteers were given some of the credit for the positive result. About 20 uniformed, non-sworn volunteers are managed by the Sacramento Police Department.

“It basically makes the community feel safe on the bus and light rail,” said volunteer Mike Mantsch.

RT police said they hope to fund an expansion of the program with the threat of more budget cuts looming.

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