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Transit Security Officers go above and beyond

Transit Security Officers go above and beyond

Transit Security

Ask a Transit Security Officer (TSO) what they love most about their job, and you’ll hear that they love the variety of the work and helping people. At least, that’s what TSO Bates echoed during a recent interview,

“I truly love the variety the role of Transit Security Officer brings each day. We have an opportunity to help support our fellow TransLink employees and coworkers as well as support and educate our community. At any given time we can go from assisting someone who has just moved here to providing assistance to an employee or passenger in need. Earlier in life, I wanted to be a teacher, because I love being able to share my personal and professional experiences with people. Being a Transit Security Officer allows me to do this on a daily basis and also just be a set of ears for someone who is going through a challenging way. If I can go home each day knowing I have helped someone in need in some capacity, then I know I have done my part as a Transit Security Officer and as a human being.”Transit Security

TSO Leigh Bates is part of a two-man team with his partner TSO Nick Kellof. On a recent patrol of Carvolth Exchange, they noticed a young female sitting at the BC Transit bus stop. When asked if she needed assistance, they learned she was trying to return to Chilliwack. It was late, the next bus headed in her direction wasn’t until 6:00 a.m. the following day. Further conversation revealed the young woman’s mother had recently passed away. There was no one they could call for her.

Going beyond the call

The officers dug through their personal items finding two, free coffee cards from McDonald’s and a bus transfer, valid until the end of service. They provided directions to the nearest McDonald’s, wished her well and continued on to finish their duties at Carvolth Exchange.

Not able to shake the desire to provide the young woman with further assistance, Nick and Leigh didn’t stop there. They went above and beyond by picking up dinner for her so she wasn’t left hungry at the exchange while waiting for the last bus. Grateful, she showered the officers with thanks before her bus departed.

Nick credits being a dad for his ability to lead with compassion and kindness. “My children didn’t just increase the amount of love in my life, they increased my capacity to love and to spread that love. I hope she was able to get home safely that night. And that she knows there are people in the world who will support and help her if she feels lost. You never know what someone is going through. A small act of kindness could make all the difference in someone’s life. I try to live by that each day.”

TSO Bates is also a fan of Linda Ellis’ quote “Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash.”

“I heard this quote approximately five years ago and I have lived by it ever since. Whether working or in my personal life, this quote’s a reminder that it’s up to me to make the most of each day. While I am at work I make a conscious effort to engage with everyone that may need assistance. This could mean someone looking confused to someone who is asleep at a bus stop or inside a bus loop. I also know that it can be difficult to ask for help for a variety of reasons. Whether it be someone in uniform, a previous experience, gender, cultural beliefs, etc. I always take it upon myself to engage with someone just in case they are afraid to ask. We at Transit Security are here to help if ever you need it.”

We thank TSO Leigh and Nick for their service and dedication to go above and beyond.

If this story sounds like you, consider applying to work as a Transit Security Officer! Open career postings can be found at Translink.ca/careers.