Grant to Boost Security at Denver's Light-Rail Stations

Big Brother is getting some big help to watch over you big time.

The Regional Transportation District received a $1.15 million federal Homeland Security grant Wednesday to continue expanding video monitoring of light-rail stations.

The money, plus $2.1 million in RTD dollars, will extend security monitoring to more stations on the Littleton line and downtown.

The stations haven't yet been selected, said Dave Genova, RTD's safety director. How much the money will buy depends on which stations are chosen, how many cameras they require and whether the locations will need upgraded fiber-optic wiring and conduit.

The existing cameras are monitored in RTD's security command center at Eighth Avenue and Mariposa Street.

"I want the people of Colorado to know that RTD has earned this grant because of the good job they're doing," said Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., at a brief ceremony at the light-rail platform at Denver's Union Station. Allard said RTD has built a good reputation on Capitol Hill by bringing in projects on schedule and budget.

The Union Station light-rail platform is about to receive live video monitoring under the previous year's funding.

Genova said stations that are candidates for cameras include those that have high traffic or are used for special events. They include stations serving the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field at Mile High, as well as the two stations on the 16th Street Mall at California and Stout streets, and at 30th Avenue and Downing Street.

All 13 of the new stations opening Nov. 17 when the T-REX light rail begins service already have live video monitoring, part of safety standards added after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Eventually, RTD plans to install video monitoring in all stations.