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DART and Des Moines Police Work Together to Prevent Teen Fights at Downtown Hub

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines Police and DART officials say they are going to reevaluate security around the downtown hub after another fight involving a huge group of teens.

Frequent dart riders say incidents involving juveniles at dart central station are nothing new.

“Oh yeah especially the young kids that come down here with the school and stuff a lot of that. So I noticed they amped the security up and more from des moines police department so that should help. But it’s going to get worse in the summer I think,” DART Rider Kevin Stanfre said.

Police said on Wednesday a group of kids were causing a disturbance and when an officer asked them to leave they turned on him and reached for his gun.

DART Marketing and Communications Manager Erin Hockman said they are thankful for other officers quick response.

“So we had the one incident yesterday and other than that we haven't had any really major incidents especially with students at DART central station for over a year. So I think we are hopeful that this does not continue to be something we will continue to see. Of course we will continue monitoring that closely working with a variety of community partners, Des Moine Public Schools and The Des Moines Police Department, to continue to evaluate what else we can be doing,” Hockman said.

She said DART has many safety measures in place like cameras on every bus and at central station, plus additional security officers during busy times, but want this incident to be a reminder: the bus station is not a place to hang out or fight.

“If that’s where my friends gather, that’s probably where I'm going to go. So it's a community approach, trying to get our different youth service organizations and the police department and the schools to all partner up and develop some options for these kids other than this,” Sgt. Paul Parizek said.

One way DART said its tried to connect with their younger riders is through music and a collaboration with local hip hop artist and activist Will Keeps.

“We were able to partner with him and to create a music video that he was in as well as students from Des Moines Public Schools who use DART services to have a message we could share more broadly with the community and students about using dart and how to do so safely,” Hockman said.

Police said after the incident, three juveniles were taken into custody and face charges of interference with official acts and trespassing.

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