Cop at Alewife never takes breaks, comes cheap, curbs crime

Cardboard cop

A roving UHub photographer reports:

This T cop at the Alewife bike cage startled me recently. Until I got closer and saw that he was...a cardboard cutout!

An MBTA spokesman says:

That's the only one...and police report that it has made a difference.

He adds the cutout is of real-life Officer David Silen.



Free tagging: 


It's all in how long it takes for them to figure out.

Even birds aren't really that stupid. If they hang around a scarecrow long enough, they will eventually realize that it's not moving and they'll grow acclimated to it. Criminal humans, one assumes, will realize this even faster. But if some potential bike thieves are coming down to the bike cage they might just see a vague cop-like shape and decide "oh shit, let's go somewhere else" without bothering to take a closer look.

Buffoons running the T

THIS is the kind of minds that are running the T? Buffoons that think that a cardboard cutout will discourage crime? I've got a fake owl on my porch that doesn't even fool birds.

Meanwhile, as reported here, drugged out homeless people are harassing commuters at Alewife. I guess Officer Cardboard can't do anything about that.



And yet you would scream bloody murder at the next fair increase. Hey their making and effort to both keep bafoons like yourself safe and keep OT down.

Good job MBTA!

A few years ago, out in

A few years ago, out in Western Mass, there was a community that was placing mannequins dressed in police uniforms in cruisers and parking the cruisers in areas known for speeding. It worked, until a couple of people saw the unresponsive officers in the cruisers and called 911.


I slow down when I see the EMPTY state cruisers they park near construction stuff left on the road overnight. You can't tell it's empty until you're pretty close.

The Joke is on us

perverts run amuk, bus drivers get beaten up daily, some stations are open drug markets and others are overrun by teenage gangs and a cardboard cutout is managements response to crime.
If T-Management wanted to save millions of dollars in overtime they could use these cutouts on T-Construction projects and save the millions they pay out in police details.

We need 1,000 more like him

He can stare at a construction hole with the best of them, but doesn't cost much to move around. Just equip the cutout with a cupholder and supply some fresh dunks every couple of hours and it would be totally convincing!

Here's a crazy thought:

We as a society could simply acknowledge the need for and benefits of having certain services provided, as well as the fact that an honest day's work should be able to provide you (and your family) with a decent living.
I'd bet that the average good cop making enough off of his base salary to live a humane (possibly even comfortable) life would love to give up that detail bullshit, leaving more time and energy for the work they actually were hired to do...

lots of cameras

These are in the Pedal-and-Parks, where there is a lot of video cameras watching things. I have a feeling that the cut-out is a subtle reminder to both would-be criminals as well as customers that the TPD are watching the area -- even if it's remotely.

You really think so? That if

You really think so? That if we gave cops a raise in their base salary, and told them they could choose to keep earning more for standing around chatting with construction workers, that they'd all say, "Well, I earn enough from my regular shift, so I'll skip the easy extra money"?


Considering the number of MBTA police officers, 200+, even considering two or three shifts, you would think they would have a more visible presence on the T and in T stations. They don't seem to ever be around. Perhaps the issue is that their HQ is on Southhampton Street which is pretty much nowhere near any subway stops.

They're spread

From Winthrop and Hull to Worcester, and Newburyport to Plymouth, those 200 officers have to cover quite some territory. They're primarily within 128, yes, but they cover more than the subway. They also cover bus routes and bus stops and commuter rail lines and ferries.

Frankly, I think they should be rolled into the State Police, even if given their own special unit/division within the State Police.

Transit PD jurisdiction:


Well, maybe they

Well, maybe they shouldn't.

If someone breaks into my car at the Newburyport commuter rail parking lot, the local cops should deal with it. It makes no sense for a T police officer to drive the 2 hour round trip.


The MBTA has just released crime statistics from Alewife Station showing that crime has dropped significantly in the station since they switched from humans patrolling the station on overtime to cardboard dummies who patrol for free

The UK has been doing this

The UK has been doing this for years and it works.

South Yorkshire Police lost almost a third of their force last year due to budget cuts. They bought the cutouts and say shoplifting is down by half.