Trespassers were removed from UP property at a record pace in 1998, as the Police Department intensified its "zero tolerance" policy toward interlopers.
"Trespassers are the root cause of most of the serious crime committed on our property," said Jim Schiffman, director-Police Operations. "If we can eliminate them, we can eliminate much - if not all - of that crime."
A total of 48,099 trespassers were escorted off the property last year, up 12 percent over the 42,770 removed in 1997. The figure doesn't include the 48,558 undocumented aliens from Mexico taken off trains or discovered in yards.
Augmenting the efforts of local police units to discourage trespassing are Special Operations Response Teams (SORT). They were recently deployed at San Jose and Salinas, Calif., and cited dozens of offenders, said George Slaats, Western Region director of police at Roseville.
"When we identify a particular trouble spot - whether with trespassers, burglaries or other offenses - we will send in a team to help local officers," Slaats said. "And we have had very good success. In addition to removing the trespassers, we want to bring a heightened awareness of the problem to the communities, to emphasize that people should not trespass on UP property."
The Police Department had set a goal [quota? -ed] of removing 43,200 trespassers during 1998 and exceeded that by almost 5,000. The department also surpassed goals in other categories, said Dennis Jenson, general director-Police Operations.
"We had significant success with our CARE program," he said, referring to Crossing Accident Reduction Enforcement, in which UP Police team up with local and state officers to cite drivers who violate crossing regulations. Last year, 1,220 citations and warnings were issued in 43 CARE operations.
Year-end activity reports on other programs included:
- Arrests made, goal 7,200, actual 7,492.
- Grade Crossing Collision Investigation (G.C.C.I.), training for outside law enforcement officers, goal 2,400 annually, actual 3,665 in 163 programs.