"Don't hesitate to reach out to a Transit Officer."
Transit Officer Kolten Missamore has been working for Spokane Transit for only six months, but he has quickly experienced first-hand the variety of ways the role of Transit Officer impacts the community.
“Our priority on the security team is to help ensure everyone’s safety, from our patrons to our staff members,” said Missamore. “We help resolve misunderstandings riders have about the rules of conduct and the new rules in response to the pandemic, like wearing a mask.”
STA’s security team helps coach operators and other staff enforce the latest safety protocols issued by the Spokane Regional Health District, the state and the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s all about education and helping someone understand these rules are in place for everyone’s safety,” said Missamore.
The security team also helps STA patrons in distress.
“Some incidents are as simple as someone having a bad day because they left their phone on the bus and they need help retrieving it,” said Missamore. “Other times, it is much more serious. One time there was a little boy who got separated from his mom on the bus, and he was really scared.”
The boy’s phone had run out of battery. Missamore and his team helped keep the boy calm while they tracked down the boy’s mom and reunited them.
“One woman came to us because she had misplaced her prescription on the bus – a lifesaving medication she depended on,” Missamore said. “With something that important arises, we pull out all the stops.”
Missamore and his team acted fast, working with transit supervisors and coach operators to retrieve the medication and return it to the patron.
“It is a special moment to be there when you see that look of relief on the person’s face. It feels good when you can help resolve something that important for someone,” said Missamore.
The security team also works closely with community organizations and the local police department to help point members of the public to resources when facing issues beyond STAs control.
“Sometimes someone really needs more help,” said Missamore. “Like when we are dealing with someone who is struggling with homelessness or having a mental health crisis. The more resources we have at our disposal to point someone to, the easier it makes my job.”
Missamore encourages everyone not to be afraid to approach his team when they need help.
“Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Transit Officer. We wear many hats. Whatever issue you are having, we are here to help,” Missmaore said. “When I can resolve an issue or just make someone’s day a little bit better, it is really satisfying. I take a lot of pride in being there for the public.”
Whatever conflict may come, Missamore feels supported by his team.
“I love my team that I work with,” said Missamore. “If I have questions or concerns, whether it is advice on how to write a report or how could I have responded better in a situation, Ann Frunk and the senior officers are always willing to help out.”