A Florida transportation researcher, Ballwin’s police chief and a former longtime St. Louis police lieutenant will make up Metro Transit’s new public safety leadership team.
The hirings, announced Friday, are part of a shakeup of Metro security efforts launched earlier this year by Taulby Roach, who took over in January as president of Metro’s parent — the Bi-State Development Agency.
The new general manager of public safety will be Stephen Berry, who has been deputy director of transit safety and workforce development at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida.
Berry, a former official with the Orlando, Florida, transit system, will be in charge of Metro’s overall security and policing activities.
He will work with a consulting firm, WSP USA, which is currently overseeing a revamp of security amid a spate of high-profile crimes in and near MetroLink stations and trains in recent years.
Kevin Scott, Ballwin’s chief since 2016 and a Ballwin police officer for 27 years, will be Metro’s director of security.
Vernon Summers, who was with St. Louis police for 23 years, will be Metro’s new manager of contract security and oversee the contracted security guards who work with Metro public safety officers and local police.
Summers most recently was director of public safety at the St. Louis Galleria shopping mall in Richmond Heights. He also has been police chief of the south St. Louis County municipality of Bella Villa.
Roach in his first few weeks on the job ousted Richard Zott, Metro’s public safety chief since 2012, and his top assistant, Jason Davis.
That move came after friction in recent years between Bi-State/Metro and St. Louis County police over how to patrol MetroLink.