Is it cool...or is it creepy?
The Sacramento Regional Transit has rolled out a new security system that includes talking over a PA system -- "Voice of God"-style -- to people who are doing things they shouldn't while waiting for public transportation.
The city believes the 24 hour security system -- which started in mid-July and is currently installed in 30 stations -- has been effective, even if surprising to those alarmed by an unknown voice talking to them.
"Basically every time they make a broadcast they log it in a log and then we monitor, did it require police officers to be dispatched because they didn't comply with the order, because they didn't stop the behavior?" SacRT security chief Lisa Hinz explained, "And the vast majority they stopped the behavior."
ABC10 went inside RT's Security Operation Center to see how it works.
The dispatchers on duty were monitoring several cameras at the light rail stations, looking for people who were doing something they shouldn't, such as loitering, littering, drinking or smoking.
They went so far as to specifically call people out by how they look and what they were wearing.
"I see more effect when you actually put them on the spot" Robert, a dispatcher on duty, told ABC10. "'Hey, to the male white, to the male black in the red shirt, blue shirt,' whatever, and they'll be like, 'hey what's going on?' and they know someone's watching...'I better watch what I'm doing.'"
Asked whether the security system could be seen as "Big Brother-esque", Hinz said they're main concern is safety.
"There’s a sense of safety when you’re standing there and you hear Regional Transit police services talk to someone on the platform. It instantly makes you feel safe," she said. "So there’s a real added benefit to actually having the PA system live."
Hinz said she expects the system to be in all RT stations by the end of the year.