Dec 162010
 
 December 16, 2010  Surveillance

Officers will start random bag inspections on the sprawling Washington subway system, the Washington Metro Transit Police said on Thursday, a week after a man was arrested for making bomb threats to the rail system.

Metrorail police officers plan to randomly select bags before passengers enter subway stations and they will swab them or have an explosives-sniffing dog check the bags, according to the Metro police.

There is “no specific or credible threat to the system at this time,” Metro said in a statement. Passengers who refuse to have their bags inspected will be denied entry into the subway system.

So once again we see a reactive measure. It’s been how many years since 9/11 and they’re just getting around to doing something about subways in major urban areas?

I especially love this quote:

“The program will increase visible methods of protecting our passengers and employees, while minimizing inconvenience to riders,” Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn said in a statement announcing the new checks.

Security theater at its worst. If you’re going to do this kind of thing, have the dogs stationed by entrances and sniff away at everyone. These “random” checks are not likely to be “random” at all and may well miss actual threats.

Read more of this Reuters report.

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