The behavior that Metro rider Shannon Fitzsimmons described ["What Would You Have Done?" op-ed, Jan. 3] is one reason the Metro Transit Police created the Rail Anti-Crime Target Shift, which focuses on fare evasion, disorderly conduct and pickpocketing. In addition, transit police officers are committed to keeping the Metro system safe by enforcing public-conduct ordinances, including rules listed on Metro maps and elsewhere in the Metro system.

We do not want customers or employees who witness a crime to put themselves in an unsafe position. We recommend that they go to an adjoining car and use the emergency intercom, located at either end of the car, to contact the train operator, who will summon police.

Near the intercom is the four-digit rail car number, which the train operator will need to request a police response. A customer's description of the behavior observed and the person or persons committing the offense greatly aid the police response.

The station platforms also have emergency intercoms on marked pylons. Metro customers can use any pay phone to call 911 (and the call can be transferred to the Metro Transit Police) or they can call Metro police directly at 202-962-2121.

Of course, Metro employees -- most in the standard blue uniform -- can summon police at a customer's request.

POLLY HANSON

Chief

Metro Transit Police Department

Washington