Portland, Ore. — In an effort to combat crimes occurring on TriMet buses and trains, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has extended its support by assigning an additional deputy district attorney and up to two investigators to handle TriMet-related cases.
The partnership between TriMet and the District Attorney’s office has been in place since 1998. The recently expanded contract sees an increase in the number of deputy district attorneys dedicated to addressing TriMet-related crimes, rising from one to two. Additionally, the new contract allows for two investigators from the District Attorney’s office to be assigned to assist with TriMet cases.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt expressed, “These new resources, combined with our longstanding partnership, will help us prioritize the safety of our public transit system and all those who work to keep us moving.”
TriMet allocated a doubled budget for safety improvement on trains and buses between 2020 and 2023. In 2022, they implemented an ordinance broadening the range of crimes and behaviors that could result in a rider being banned from transit.
Andrew Wilson, the executive director of safety and security for TriMet, emphasized that transit police, TriMet security personnel, and the district attorney’s office would collaborate to prevent criminals from utilizing the transit system.
The two deputy district attorneys assigned to TriMet cases are Julian Samuels and Megan Irinaga. Irinaga will handle misdemeanor and minor felony cases, while Samuels will focus on major and minor felonies.
Multnomah County Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell noted that the additional prosecutorial resources would streamline and expedite investigations, enabling transit police officers to dedicate more time to community engagement and crime prevention.
During a recent news conference, O’Donnell announced the addition of a sergeant and plans to hire two more deputies for TriMet’s transit police force. Currently, TriMet has only 18 of the 65 budgeted positions filled in its transit police force.
The agreement between TriMet and Multnomah County, amounting to $2.08 million, will remain in effect through June 30, 2025.