Halifax Transit union president calls for increased police presence at Dartmouth bridge terminal

ATU president Ken Wilson thinks Halifax Regional Police should have a community policing office at the bus terminal to act as a deterrent to violence.

The Dartmouth bridge terminal.

JEFF HARPER / METRO – The Dartmouth bridge terminal. By: Metro Published on Sun Apr 03 2016

The head of the union representing Halifax Transit drivers is calling on the municipality to increase the police presence at the Dartmouth bridge terminal after a driver was assaulted last week.

Two people — one of whom was a 46-year-old uniformed bus driver who had just finished a shift — were allegedly punched and kicked by a pair of teen boys at the bus terminal Thursday night. The teens were arrested and are expected to appear in court at a later date.

ATU president Ken Wilson said Sunday he wouldn’t comment on the details of the incident because investigations by Halifax Transit and police are still ongoing.

“We’re just asking for a stronger police presence at the bridge terminal due to the fact that there’s over 22,000 people there a day,” he said.

Wilson said that because the bus driver wasn’t at the wheel at the time, he doesn’t think this incident is about safety for drivers as much as it is for the general public.

“It speaks to the degree of violence that can occur at the bridge terminal any day of the week,” he said.

Wilson said Halifax Regional Police should have a community policing office at the bus terminal to provide a presence at the terminal that he thinks would act as a deterrent to this kind of violence.

“They do have security, but security can’t get involved. All they can do is call for police. They have video cameras, but that’s only good after the fact, it’s not going to stop or deter it from happening,” he said.