Union official tells paper Amtrak plans 20-percent cut to police force

RELATED TOPICS: PASSENGER | AMTRAK | SAFETY | LABOR RELATIONS
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NEW YORK — Amtrak will cut its police force by 20% over the next three years, the New York Post reports, a move its union president says “will jeopardize the safety and security for the passengers and employees.”

William Gonzalez, president of Amtrak’s Fraternal Order of Police, told the Post that Amtrak police chief Neil Trugman informed union officials the police department will be cut from 452 employees to 369 by 2022. Gonzalez says the union was told there would be no layoffs, but retirements alone could not account for the reduction, he said: “There’s no way they can reduce manpower without layoffs.”

Amtrak police respond to situations on trains and in stations, conduct police-dog screenings of baggage, and work with other law enforcement agencies on special events.

In a statement to the Post, an Amtrak spokesman said the passenger railroad is “currently evaluating the deployment of our Amtrak Police Department staff to ensure we have appropriate staffing levels for the safety and security of our customers as employees.” The railroad anticipates adjustments “including increasing the presence of officers on board trains.”

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