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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Group slams random commuter searches on T
By Phoebe Sweet
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

LYNN -- Random stops and searches on the state's public transportation system during the Democratic National Convention will cause only momentary delays for commuters, according to the T, but are still drawing the ire of civil liberties groups.

"Continuing its determined efforts to keep the nation's fifth busiest transit system safe and secure, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has announced that random security inspections of bags, parcels, and other carry-on items will begin prior to the start of the (DNC)," said T officials in a press release.

All those choosing to use the T - which runs commuter trains, subways, buses, and boats - will be subject to search. MBTA police will perform the random searches of purses, briefcases and carry-on items by visual or electronic means, or by bomb-sniffing dogs. Anyone who refuses the searches will not be permitted to ride the T.

T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the authority is "hoping to minimize delays," caused by searches. He declined to comment on when or where the searches would begin in order to "keep the MBTA's security plans as effective as possible."

"The terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Madrid are foremost on our minds as Boston plays an integral and highly symbolic role in the democratic process of choosing a president," said Transportation Secretary Daniel A. Grabauskas in a written statement. "MBTA Police, who met with civil rights groups and community members, have developed a policy rooted in the fundamental principles of fairness and equality."

But the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts compares the searches to Nazi Germany on its Web site and recently wrote a letter to T boss Michael H. Mulhern condemning the searches.

"Having to carry and produce identification has historically been a method of control," said ACLUM Legal Director John Reinstein on the organization's Web site. "From Nazi Germany, to Stalinist Russia, to South Africa under apartheid, the phrase: 'Your papers, please' is alien to a free society."

Reinstein and ACLUM Executive Director Carol Rose expressed concern in a May letter to Mulhern that searches might not be completely random and that those without identification might not be allowed to travel on the T.

But Mulhern said in a press release Monday the T carefully considered civil liberties before creating the security program, which will be reviewed and evaluated after the convention.

"The focus is on keeping the system safe during the DNC," said Pesaturo, and T officials will "talk about what shape the program may take in the future" after the convention.

"This is not a step to which we arrived at hastily," said Mulhern in the release. "The MBTA would not be moving forward with this security initiative unless I felt it was absolutely necessary in this city and during this time in our nation's history."

Pesaturo said Monday increases in the number of calls from riders responding to the 'See Something, Say Something' Transit Watch initiative indicate that riders are on board.

"People are seeing something and saying something. Suspicious activity, unattended packages, or something just looks out of place. They are responding to the public education campaign and that's encouraging," he said. "That's a great asset, when you have the eyes of more than 1.1 million (commuters) helping keep the system safe and secure.

"If you go by the numbers, it seems they do want to play an active role."

Calls to T police on suspicious people or packages are up from in April to 125 in May and 99 in June.

Although the T has not hired more police for the convention, Pesaturo said overtime is already up in preparation for the convention and Mulhern canceled all vacation for operations and police personnel during the week of the DNC.
 

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But the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts compares the searches to Nazi Germany on its Web site and recently wrote a letter to T boss Michael H. Mulhern condemning the searches.

always trust the ACLU to over state things :roll:

If the Transit PD did nothing and some radical lunatic got a bomb on the subway and killed a group of taxpayers Another group would be calling for their heads to roll for not doing anything. I am amazed that riding the subway and the rail system hasnt risen to the level of security that air travel has.
 

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BartA1 @ 19 Jul 2004 23:24 said:
But the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts compares the searches to Nazi Germany on its Web site and recently wrote a letter to T boss Michael H. Mulhern condemning the searches.

always trust the ACLU to over state things :roll:

If the Transit PD did nothing and some radical lunatic got a bomb on the subway and killed a group of taxpayers Another group would be calling for their heads to roll for not doing anything. I am amazed that riding the subway and the rail system hasnt risen to the level of security that air travel has.
No SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dropped off my wife and son at 128 Amtrak station for the ride to N.Y. City. Watched a guy get out of the garage with a Trek bicycle box, walk right throught the station, up the platform steps, and ask the conductor if it was O.K. to board the train. He just waved him right on. How much C-4 or Sarin gas do you think you can get on the Northeast Corridor train before it gets into Penn Station? Jeezus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How about just 50 pounds at South Station, 128, Providence, New London, Old Saybrook, New Haven. There's 300 pounds right there. Would that be enough to bring down Penn Station? Whoa baby!
:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got a video of the Palmer wreck in 98',but on average its to far for me for a trip. Its been well photographed as is though. :wink:
 
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