Mass Transit Bureau

OCTA Seal
Sheriff's Non-Emergency Dispatch:
714-647-7000 or 949-770-6011


Lieutenant Chris Thomas
Chief of Transit Police Services

OCTA Transit Police Services Overview

In 1993 the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) partnered with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to enhance safety and security within the Orange County mass transit system. With nearly 40,000,000 OCTA bus boardings annually, the Sheriff’s Transit Police Services (TPS) provides specialized contract law enforcement services to provide the safest environment possible for both the ridership and OCTA personnel. Additionally, OCTA owns 47 miles of active railway and 13 miles of inactive railway right of way.
 
Transit Police Services deploys a team of uniformed Deputy Sheriff’s dedicated to providing specialized security and law enforcement services on OCTA buses in addition to supplementing local law enforcement agencies at transportation centers, OCTA facilities, and park & ride facilities. This deployment model provides the public with a multi-layered security and law enforcement structure, further enhancing the safety and security of public transit.
 
Due to the extreme level of danger along our railway right of ways, TPS deploys a dedicated team of Deputy Sheriff’s tasked with the mitigation of trespassing and security threats along our 60 miles of Orange County railway right of ways. This team works in concert with local law enforcement, federal law enforcement, railway police, homeland security and the public at large to maintain the highest level of safety and security along these vital infrastructure sites.
 
Transit Police Services also deploys an investigative element who are primarily tasked with investigating criminal violations which occur on OCTA buses and OCTA owned right of ways. As well, this team conducts threat assessments, conducts special operations with surveillance capabilities, and coordinates with allied agencies for joint operations which enhance safety and security in Orange County’s transit environment.
 
Additional capabilities within the bureau include multiple Explosives Detection Canine teams, SWAT members, Critical Incident Response Team, Terrorism Liaison Officers, Homeless Liaison Officers, Cyber Liaison Officers, Orange County Taxi Administration Program, and a host of other specialized disciplines. This experienced and diverse team works in concert to enhance the safety of your commute.
 
Operation Freedom Rider is a program dedicated to the quality of life onboard OCTA buses. This consists of Fixed Route Deputy Sheriffs onboard buses to mitigate criminal activity, violence, and quality of life challenges onboard OCTA buses. This program was named in honor of those 1960s civil rights heroes who became known as the Freedom Riders who sacrificed their own safety to make public transit safe and accessible for all Americans.