T cop, Red Line rider save woman's life on tracks at JFK/UMass

Ed Forry watched a tragedy averted this afternoon:

At about 4:40 this afternoon, I walked down the stairs to the platform to catch an Ashmont train that was just arriving. At the platform, I saw several passengers gathering to look into the outbound pit, and saw a young woman lying flat on her back in the middle of the tracks, just four feet away from the third rail. ...



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And several non-heroes, who

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And several non-heroes, who froze up and gawked rather than did anything.


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Courage cannot be taught or bought and the actions of the T officer and the passengers deserve a Thanks from all T riders. I will say I see the T police all the time between Ashmont and JFK but never downtown except at the entrance to Park street where they park their cars

There should be a permanent,

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There should be a permanent, highly visible police presence downtown at Park St, Downtown Crossing and Back Bay. I rarely see visible uniformed transit cops or even Boston police downtown unless they're on paid details.

Yes, I appreciate this. My

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Yes, I appreciate this. My comment really was in reference to T problems in general at downtown stations. Aside from people falling onto tracks, thuggish behavior by unruly urban youths, especially H.S. kids on weekdays, is a big problem. I'm curious why there isn't a greater visible police presence at problem locations downtown. I know the transit police department is small, but there should be a greater visible presence IMO.

That's all,Ron.

You know what?

A whole bunch of us UH readers work downtown. We go to lunch, sometimes late, we take a walk or a smoke break mid-afternoon, etc.

I, for one, see teens being teens after school, but not thugs. I have only VERY RARELY seen anything like what you continually complain about here. Kids are sometimes a little loud, sure, but they also spend money and most are well behaved and even polite and helpful to elders.

Do any other downtown workers experience "thuggish behavior by unruly urban youths" after school? Describe?

Sorry, but all I'm seeing in this comment and others you have made here about this subject roughly translates to: "OMFG SCARY BLACK AND HISPANIC AND ASIAN TEENAGERS ARE SCARING ME SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING RUN RUN RUN HELP!". That isn't an acceptable basis of an effective security policy.

MOST public HS students in

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MOST public HS students in Boston are 'urban' youth. I sarcastically used this PC term for black, Hispanic teenagers. And yes girl, there is a problem with violence and obnoxious behavior by these kids [obviously not all] at school opening and closing time across the city, especially at main transit points. This is not a racist theory of mine [I'm not racist] it's a simple fact. MANY people of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, etc., would back me up on this. Downtown Crossing, Back Bay Station, Ruggles, Forest Hills are particular well known flashpoints for youth violence problems on the transit system. Denying any problem exists doesn't help the situation.

BTW: I am as you surmised white, but grew up 'working class' in minority majority neighborhoods of Boston and NYC. The closest I ever came to living in a white neighborhood growing up was Somerville. So do me a favor and spare me the cliched remarks that I must be afraid of 'scary' minority people.

This happens often enough

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This happens often enough that it seems to me that the T should require trains to stop before entering a station. This would give the train operator time to scan the tracks.

That would absolutely wreck

That would absolutely wreck the T's capacity and trip times. I know of no rail system anywhere on earth that has such a ridiculous rule.

Though this did get me

Though this did get me thinking about the problem. Maybe they could install "person on the tracks" alarms -- pull the handle, and approaching trains instantly get a stop signal. Though they might be prone to abuse.

Or they could install more police call boxes on the platforms. If someone called and said "there's someone unconscious on the tracks at X station", how long would it take for police to contact the subway control center and stop the trains?

Next time...

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...get names, Forry. You're the editor of a freakin newspaper.