June 15, 2022 - TRA Newswire -

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will distribute grants totaling over $2 million to 25 law enforcement agencies in 13 states to combat "high instances of rail trespass-related incidents and casualties" on railroad property. The Houston Police Department will be one of the recipients.

Trespass incidents not only concern railroads about people walking or loitering on tracks but this also follows a large scale problem in Los Angeles and several other cities where thieves looted FedEx and Amazon train cargo when cars were stopped. The LA thefts were compounded by the progressive District Attorney who would fail to prosecute criminals and release them to loot again. 

It's part of the agency's efforts to reduce the number of public fatalities on railroad property. Last year about 400 people lost their lives in trespass incidents, almost all of which are preventable. More than 236 people committed suicide by rail in the past year and another 27 were injured in their attempt.

The Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Activities Grant will fund the Houston Police Department to the tune of $120,000 to deploy up to four officers patrolling the rail corridors in search of trespassers. The Department will conduct ongoing "hot spot" data analysis to ensure the officers are effective. It will also deploy all-terrain vehicles as needed, canine units and aerial support craft to access difficult areas along the railroad right-of-way.

To the North, Oklahoma City will also receive $120,000 for the same efforts.

Photo credit: StarTribune.com