Overnight security at SEPTA rail yards - which might have prevented an 11-year-old boy from being electrocuted Saturday - ended about 10 years ago.
Wayne Junction in Germantown, where Jewels Angelo was killed when he touched an electrified mechanism atop a SEPTA train car, used to be guarded 24 hours a day, said David Waters, a former SEPTA security officer who patrolled that area in the 1990s.
Patrols could have saved Angelo's life, Waters said.
"If [the rail yard] had security, they would have seen the kids running down the yard," he said. "The kids would have left then because kids normally run away when they see security guards."
Waters, 63, said that SEPTA hired 250 to 300 workers in 1990 to guard the transit stations at night. Waters said SEPTA shut the system down for financial reasons 10 years later.
Jim Jordan, assistant general manager for public and operational safety for SEPTA, said that he would not support reinstating the security guard system because it had substantial flaws.
"Toward the end it got a very bad reputation," he said. "It didn't train people or closely supervise them. In the end, people would sit in their chairs for their eight-hour shifts."
He also said that it is too difficult to predict when an accident will happen.
"Had there been a pattern or commonality of kids walking the tracks, that's when we would have focused our attention until we were able to stop it," Jordan said.
Jordan said that since he joined SEPTA in 2000, after the security guard program ended, the transit company had increased its police patrol in the city so that officers are not at a fixed post.
He SEPTA is still looking for a solution for guarding all its tracks.
"We're policing something the size of some towns," Jordan said. "I don't see [security guards] as a viable action, but we never try to rule anything out."
Jaime Tucker, Angelo's stepmother, said that any type of security could prevent this from happening again.