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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Dan Finkelstein Named MTA Chief of Transit Police

Tuesday March 25, 2003

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Dan Finkelstein, a 27-year law enforcement veteran, has been named MTA's Chief of Transit Police - a first-of-its-kind arrangement that is expected to consolidate the agency's security forces and improve safety for employees and patrons.

In addition to commanding a 448-member Transit Services Bureau that includes 342 deputies and 50 uniformed fare inspectors, Finkelstein also will be responsible for the MTA Security force which patrols MTA headquarters and Metro bus and rail yards.

Finkelstein will remain a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department while serving as Transit Police Chief. The appointment comes as MTA is finalizing a full-service, five-year security contract with the LASD. Effective May 1, the LASD will patrol all MTA bus and rail service throughout the county.

"This will greatly improve security by providing a greater police presence in the Metro system and at MTA facilities," said MTA Deputy CEO John Catoe.

Finkelstein also will oversee an MTA counter-terrorism and threat assessment team that will be headed by MTA's Paul Lennon, currently the managing director of Systems Safety and Security.

Lennon will work with local, state, federal and even some foreign security agencies to gather counter-terrorism intelligence that will be useful in MTA's security planning and operations.

"The great thing about this is that we'll be a more seamless, more efficient, one-voice operation," said Finkelstein. 'We'll be able to assist MTA security with training, communication and other issues and they'll be an extra set of eyes and ears for the deputies who are working the system."

Finkelstein joined the LASD as an intern in 1975. As a deputy, he worked in such assignments as the Men's Central Jail and at the Carson, Firestone and Lennox stations. He was promoted to sergeant in 1987 and to lieutenant in 1991.

As a lieutenant, he commanded the Metrolink Bureau, providing security for the commuter rail network. Promoted to captain in May 2001, he was named to head the Sheriff's Transit Service Bureau at MTA.

Finkelstein earned an Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts at Los Angeles Harbor College and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach. He currently is pursuing a master's degree in health sciences, with a specialization in disaster and emergency management.

Editors Note: Digital photo of Captain Dan Finkelstein is available by calling Rick Jager, MTA Media Relations at (213) 922-2707.

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