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SAN DIEGO — The Metropolitan Transit System and five law enforcement agencies announced Thursday the formation of a task force to improve security at transit stations and aboard trolleys.

The task force — which will include personnel from the sheriff’s department and police officers from San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon and La Mesa — will conduct fare inspections, look for suspicious activity and help ensure a safe environment for passengers, according to the MTS.

The officers will be uniformed at times and in plain clothes on other occasions, and will switch between marked and unmarked vehicles.

“This task force is the next step in the ongoing efforts at MTS to improve the security of passengers and employees,” said agency CEO Paul Jablonski. “Our efforts have created one of the safest transit systems. It’s a record we are proud of and one we will always try to improve.”

The task force, funded by a $1 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security, will work with the MTS’s 35 code compliance officers and 165 security officers, who work under a contract with Transit Systems Security.

“Having highly visible law enforcement officers will be a strong deterrent to inappropriate conduct, as well as criminal activity,” said MTS police Chief Bill Burke.

The task force will improve safety at busy transit centers and improve information sharing among the agencies, according to the MTS.

The agency said it recently installed better video surveillance systems aboard trolleys and at transit systems, provided officers with uniform cameras, and established a special unit to provide late-night patrols aboard Blue and Orange line trolleys.

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