Metro to alert riders about violent crime

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WASHINGTON -- Metro will now let the public know about all violent crimes that happen on the transit system, the same day they occur, if safe to do so.

This new order comes after the transit authority’s General Manager testified before a House subcommittee on Tuesday.

G.M. Paul Wiedefeld took part in a two-hour hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit that discussed ways to improve the safety and reliability of Metro.

During the hearing, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) a brought up the April 12 rape on Metro’s Red Line.

The suspect in the case was arrested a few hours after the alleged incident and the only publication of the incident was in a crime blotter. There wasn’t wide-spread knowledge of the event until the suspect, John P. Hicks, had a bond hearing on Monday.

Wiedefeld said he knew about the incident the day it happened and said there was no reason to alert the public.

“From my perspective, there was no threat to the community because we captured the person.

But Comstock countered, "I appreciate that they solved the crime quickly, but it’s something that we always need to be reminded and remind each other."

"By not letting us know, Metro was at odds with its own new transparency,” added Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC).

Wiedefeld said he’d look at the decision and several hours after the hearing, Metro Transit Police announced they’d been directed to let the public know about every violent crime that occurs on the Metro the same day it happens (as long as it doesn’t hinder the investigation).