A transit officer at the La Mesa trolley station / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

The Metropolitan Transit System is poised to move forward with a private security contract with a company boasting a stellar record of avoiding use-of-force incidents, one of its latest bids to transition away from a historically punitive enforcement approach.

But as Jesse Marx and Lisa Halverstadt discovered, security contractor Inter-Con Security Systems may not have the spotless record it has touted as it vies to replace longtime MTS contractor Allied Universal.

MTS’s security force is made up of code compliance officers who enforce fare violations and quality-of-life offenses and contracted security guards, some of whom are armed. After calls for reforms, MTS officials are proposing that the agency’s board move forward with an up to $66 million, five-year contract with Inter-Con, which has pledged to focus more on retaining and training its guards and improving interactions with riders. The company also has contracts with Houston’s transit system, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Yet Allied Universal, which sent formal protest letters to MTS after Inter-Con was selected in a procurement process, pointed to several past lawsuits that Inter-Con was named in that it claimed involved use of force.

In response to that criticism and questions from VOSD about those cases, Inter-Con has qualified its record while still maintaining that its track record is “best-in-class within the industry.”

People’s Ordinance Complicates Efforts to Follow New Recycling Law

The city is set to spend about $30 million to allow residents to recycle food scraps in compliance with a new state law. The Union-Tribune reports that the city expects to buy about 250,000 green recycling bins and kitchen pails so it can follow organics recycling law SB 1383.

But as the U-T notes, the city can’t pass along all those costs in the form of increased trash bills as cities elsewhere are poised to do, thanks to the People’s Ordinance, which requires the city to pick up trash at most single-family homes without a special fee. The controversial policy means the city doesn’t have funds other municipalities count on to pay for things like public safety and infrastructure – and has now left the city picking up a new tab.

Lisa Halverstadt revealed earlier this year that City Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera, who chairs the City Council’s environment committee, wants to trash that ordinance. He plans to have the committee take up the issue later this year and consider a ballot measure among other options to nix the law.

News Roundup

  • City News Service reports that attorneys have filed two lawsuits on behalf of current and former Scripps Health patients who claim their data may have been compromised during a recent ransomware attack.
  • The San Diego County Water Authority proclaimed that the region will be safe from water shortages now and through 2045 despite recent dry conditions, Times of San Diego reports.
  • San Diego County’s median home price rose 23 percent in a single year to a record $725,000 in May, the Union-Tribune reports.
  • The Board of Governors at Coronado Unified School District voted 5-0 to fire the head coach of the boys basketball team Tuesday evening after the racist incident in which people associated with the school threw tortillas at players from Orange Glen, a predominantly Latino school (NBC 7). The San Diego NAACP is calling on the CIF to ban two Coronado players and parents, 10News reports. CIF, meanwhile, says it is investigating the incident, Times of San Diego reports. 
  • The San Diego International Airport is set to receive $90 million in pandemic relief funding, part of nearly $8 billion the FAA is dispersing to airports around the country, 10News reports.

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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