Extra Fizz: Metro to Replace Downtown Transit Tunnel Security Firm

By Erica C. Barnett February 23, 2010

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with information from Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond.

King County Metro will replace Olympic Security, the company whose unarmed guards stood by as a 15-year-old girl was kicked and beaten in the downtown transit tunnel, with a new private security firm, Metro general manager Kevin Desmond confirmed today.

Desmond said the agency will continue to retain Olympic for security at other Metro facilities, including park-and-rides, but will find another firm to take over tunnel security "as quickly as practicable." Olympic's five-year contract expires this coming October.

Desmond said King County Metro has not chosen a firm yet to replace Olympic in the tunnel, and could not say whether Metro would end Olympic's contract early (potentially incurring early termination costs) or simply reassign the Olympic guards while paying new officers to guard the tunnel. "How we remove that [tunnel] portion of their scope of work, we have to work that out with" Olympic, Desmond said. "We still have a contract with Olympia to provide other services," such as security at park-and-rides.

In the meantime, Desmond said, Metro has given Olympic "revised protocols" to tell them when to intervene in a violent incident.
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