Amtrak OIG Information Report: Key Practices for Rail Police Management

August 17, 2020 |  Other

In July 2020, our office issued a report on Amtrak’s management of its police department. Our objective was to evaluate the extent to which Amtrak employed key practices to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its police force. When we initiated our assessment, there were no agreed-upon best practices for rail policing in the relevant literature or from discussions with professional organizations and researchers, and there was no commonly accepted list of the top performers. Therefore, we conducted extensive research to develop a list of key practices to assess Amtrak.


To determine these practices, we reviewed and compiled information from a range of public- and private-sector sources. This included information from semi-structured interviews and site visits with 14 of the 16 largest rail organizations in the United States, which cover 90 percent of the nation’s ridership. We also visited national rail police and security departments in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy. We chose these based on expert opinion about high-quality rail police departments and comparable track miles to Amtrak. We then combined the results of our research with commonly accepted management standards.


This guide is intended to share the results of our work by providing the key practices for police management that we identified, which may be applicable to other rail and transit organizations.

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