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Posted at 9:55 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Metro to begin random bag inspections

By Ann Scott Tyson

See something -- or nothing? Tell us what you're seeing on your commute with #wmatasearch on Twitter.

(This post has been updated)

Metro transit police announced this afternoon that they will, within a few days, begin conducting random inspections of carry-on items on the Metro system as a security measure.

Metro said the inspections will take "only minutes" and police will check bags or packages for "hazardous materials." Anyone who "refuses to submit their carry-on items for inspection will be prohibited from bringing those items into the station."

The inspections will use "ionization technology and K9s" to screen items, and are not passenger pat-downs. Carry-on items "will generally not be opened and physically inspected unless the equipment indicates a need for further inspection," Metro said in a statement.

It's not a temporary program--there was no end date announced. It will involve a 20-man anti-terror police team, K9 teams, explosive teams, and some TSA involvement.

The inspection plan is tailored after successful programs used routinely in New York City and Boston transit systems, the agency said, and Metro will make every effort to minimize inconvenience of carry-on inspections to riders.

Metro will distribute pamphlets on the searches, which are designed to "add another layer of security," said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael A. Taborn, who appeared in a video posted to YouTube discussing the searches.

Metro first announced a similar plan in late 2008, just before the presidential election. Metro officials said then that the program was not in response to a specific threat but prompted by increased security concerns including the inauguration, Sept. 11, 2001, and train bombings in Europe.

Metro said then that they would implement the searches immediately. But a fierce backlash from riders ensued, and they never began them.

Criticism levied then included the contention that if a would-be terrorist finds random inspections taking place at one station, as an ACLU representative said, "he could just go up the escalator and go to a different station where bag searches are not taking place. . . . Assume they're doing searches at Farragut West. The bad guy simply goes to Farragut North."

In an online chat with Dr. Gridlock readers, security specialist Bruce Schneier called the move announced then "security theater" and a waste of resources that would likely make residents less safe overall.

Today, Dr. Gridlock contends the reality is much the same. He notes that of all the challenges facing Metro, complaints from riders who fear imminent death by bomb are not one of them.

"Washingtonians by the scores complain about eating and drinking on the trains, about garbled announcements on the loud speakers, about the handholds being too high and far away for riders to grab. They think police and school officials should control rowdy behavior after class. They think the trains break down too often. But the constituency for random, occasional property searches has yet to be heard from."

By Ann Scott Tyson  | December 16, 2010; 9:55 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

One more reason not to ride metro (If the horrible service wasn't enough.)

I'm curious what the "ionization technology" is that they are planning on using?

Also, if someone refuses, how long are they prohibited from entering the station? 10 minutes? 1 hour? The next day? Forever?

We're just actors in this security theater.

Posted by: pooooop423 | December 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Successful? Can someone show me a SINGLE TIME this method was successful in stopping an attack?

Posted by: Bious | December 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

This is a horrible, horrible idea.

Metro can't even get their system to run properly, and THIS is where they focus their efforts?

Nobody has ever died on Metro from a terrorist attack. How many have died from Metro's incompetence?

Posted by: yatesc1 | December 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yet another over reaction. We really need to find a sane middle ground here.

Posted by: kevd | December 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This is getting to be too much. Can't wait till I can goodbye for good to DC.

Posted by: Nixonin08 | December 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Haven't they been doing this for a couple of years now?
http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=2324

Posted by: krmay1 | December 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in Boston, I was able to walk instead. From the waterfront to the outskirts was six miles -- about 90 minutes.

In NYC, I could opt to take the A instead of the 1, or vice versa.

But DC has no alternate lines, and is really just too big to walk across. Particularly as I go from VA to MD and back.

I really, really hate this big brother crap. We should be better than that, and really, really aren't. This combined with all of the roadsigns advocating everyone to call in "something suspicious" leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

Posted by: EtoilePB | December 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Security theater, indeed.

Posted by: Nixonin08 | December 16, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

2001 and counting.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"designed to 'add another layer of security,' said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael A. Taborn."

Wouldn't be more honest to call it adding another level of oppression to our growing police state? Isn't this what you would expect in Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany, not in the capital of the "free world."

Why don't the transit security people spend their resources protecting riders from thugs, and more specifically rescuing the bleeding elderly rider who recently got beat up on a train, instead of persecuting the passengers who behave?

Posted by: dcrussell | December 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Fix the crack in the red line first.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Who would want to blow up the DC Metro - its doing that all by itself!

Posted by: wvp123 | December 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Security theater. It will not stop *anyone* from entering. Maybe that particular station, but not Metro in general. As others have stated above, committed individuals will simply move to the next station/entrance.

And what the heck is "ionization and K9" technology? I can guess the K9 part of it, but spraying everyone with beams from their ion cannons? What kind of EPA study was done before this was approved and, more importantly, what kind of damage will it do to the already pitiful escalators?

Ridiculous waste of money and manpower (dog-power, too)!

Posted by: SamFelis | December 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Will this program extend to controlling unruly and violent schoolchildren on the trains?

The Metro police carry rifles w/them. The rifles are the same color as their uniforms, so they aren't easily visible. I think that it's unnerving to exit a station in the morning, e.g., Union Station, and see officers walking around w/rifles.

My question is: What good are the rifles? Let's say the officers seem criminal activity on a crowded platform. How could they shoot the rifles w/o injuring bystanders?

What statistics does Metro have to demonstrate that these invasive, search programs have been successful in NYC or Boston?

Ms. Tyson, Metro's assertion is worth a fact check. Call the NYPD *and* the NY Straphangers rider advocacy group to see what each side has to say about the "success" in NYC.

Posted by: RockvilleBear | December 16, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

They might as well seize coffee and snacks on the Picnic Line, but they won't because the only law that is important is the law against blinking Christmas ornaments.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Excuse my ignorance but is Metro exempt from the 4th Amendment?

Posted by: billecaps | December 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Unless a transit officer has either a search warrant or a reasonable basis for probable cause that a criminal act would occur, a stop and inspection is an unconstitutional search and seizure, because it violates the Sixth Amendment.

Posted by: flwood2341 | December 16, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm torn between thinking that we have to do what we have to do to be safe and the idea that this is really an infringement on individual rights. Having said that, what does this article mean when it refers to similar programs being "successful" in New York and Boston? Have the NYC and Boston transit police found hazardous materials in the possession of passengers planning to cause harm?

Posted by: SouthernerInDC | December 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I think you mean the Fourth Amendment, but yes. Lot of lawyers in this town, too.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | December 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Last straw for me, poor maintenance, now intrusive, time consuming checks. I am back to my automobile. So much for DC trying to get folks out of cars.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

On whos authority does Metro have the right or the training to inspect peoples bags. Metro doesn't have the resource the money and man power for this over reach.

Posted by: agarnett1000 | December 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The way Metro works it will kill you long before any terror attack...

Posted by: liubei | December 16, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

To look for what? Donuts and sandwiches. How many people who run through the Metro to catch a train will be stopped? Will only walkers and tourists get the search and what if it causes them to miss the train? Metro personnel don't have the respect and many don't have the professionalism to conduct searches.

Posted by: interactingdc | December 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Didn't they say the same thing like 18 months ago!?! Nothing happened.

In any event, it would just be more "security theater" that will actually detract from law enforcement's ability to stop terrorist.

Posted by: nadie1 | December 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse


Just another dumb idea from Metro.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, maybe it's just me but, I don't know, has anyone heard of the 4TH AMENDMENT?

Maybe Metro ought to pay more attention to fixing the elevators, escalators, A/C on the trains in the summer, etc. (especially after hiking fees twice in a year) instead of violating civil rights without probable cause.

Posted by: playahatah | December 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's searching my bad without probable cause or a warrant. looks like I'm driving from now on.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If airports can check bags I don't think a 4th amendment argument argue will survive a constitutional review. However, it will further reduce Metro revenue, forcing them to raise fairs, further reducing revenue. It is just a very bad idea.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If I have my weed in my pocket is that okay? Or will they search the person as well as the bag?

Posted by: prickles1009 | December 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I would be inclined to go along with this as long as Metro posts the following, new poster-sized notices, in large letters, at the entrance to every station:

"Welcome to Metro! We apologize in advance for the inconvenience, loss of limb or life, mugging, robbery, rudeness, smoke filled stations and/or cars that you are about to experience. Please note: since many trips can last hours, we may have already raised fares by the time you exit the Metro system and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who won't let us search their belongings. Thanks for riding Metro!"

If nothing else, the signs could help eliminate the constant apology announcements that are no longer even remotely sincere.

Posted by: DC_BillM | December 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I would be inclined to go along with this as long as Metro posts the following, new poster-sized notices, in large letters, at the entrance to every station:

"Welcome to Metro! We apologize in advance for the inconvenience, loss of limb or life, mugging, robbery, rudeness, smoke filled stations and/or cars that you are about to experience. Please note: since many trips can last hours, we may have already raised fares by the time you exit the Metro system and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who won't let us search their belongings. Thanks for riding Metro!"

If nothing else, the signs could help eliminate the constant apology announcements that are no longer even remotely sincere.

Posted by: DC_BillM | December 16, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Translation: Metro got some Federal money to buy toys and play cops and robbers. You don't have to be a genius to know that 'random' searches are totally pointless. Surely this is just a build-up to mandatory searches of every single metro passenger.

Posted by: pswift00 | December 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I understand the need for security, but random bag checks are not the way to go. When designing security for something like the metro we need to be a bit more creative.

Full body scans in a fashion where someone can just briskly walk through the scanner on their way to the terminal without having to stop unless the scanner goes off could be a feasible option. Image recognition technology can be applied to the scanners computers so when an image of something like a gun, bomb whatever is exposed the image recognition picks it up, and sets off an alarm that ....could lock the person in, or lock a bar that the person goes through (like the bars that you walk through as you place your token/ticket in, if you don't pay they stay locked)

Something like that if done right could work. It is costly though. But if security is what we want, then we should just do it right, not half-baked, dreamy random bag checks.

Posted by: Ian5672 | December 16, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the "Rally to restore Sanity and/or Fear" was at least half successful...

Posted by: dcg35 | December 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Like he_ll they will!

Posted by: forgetthis | December 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

They routinely search our bags before we go into museums, so that's not unusual around DC. However, the fact that this is random could be a problem. One thing's for sure, a lot of people are going to be offended for being singled out and there could be some lawsuits concerning profiling.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | December 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Too bad they're not randomly inspecting train cars and tracks for safety. That would be a much better use of Metro resources considering Metro has killed more people than terrorists have....

Posted by: WildBill1 | December 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This "plan" is ludicrous. With all the problems the system has with tracks, fires, rowdiness, why in the heck is this being implemented?

Posted by: Murre | December 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Of all the ways WMATA decides to pattern itself after NYC and Boston transit systems, this is what they choose?

Let's get the budget in line. Let's get trains on time. Let's stop random fires. The problems on these trains aren't caused by riders, they're caused by lack of maintenance.

Posted by: DC_Grrl | December 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Another step closer to living in a Police State!!!...Look on the bright side, traffic load will increase and the use of public transit will decrease! This will without a doubt cause fare increases for those most dependent on the service! It is such a tangled web we weave for ourselves when we build societies without trust and faith in one another. Good news is that it will be 2012 soon?

Posted by: brickman1 | December 16, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It is beyond stupid. These people can't even stop anyone from eating or drinking on the cars. I don't see how they're going to implement bag screening.

Posted by: gretchen2 | December 16, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Metro will make every effort to minimize inconvenience...." Hahahahahahaha! Too funny!

Posted by: mac4700 | December 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"Metro will make every effort to minimize inconvenience...." Hahahahahahaha! Too funny!

Posted by: mac4700 | December 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievably inept. Well, maybe not. After all it is Metro.

Broken this and broken that but there is money for feel-good nonsense that only feels good to the employees and officers of the security unit.

Meanwhile, have you got your papers? You'll be needing them soon enough.

Posted by: Over-n-Out | December 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of whiners!!!!!

Posted by: elwoll | December 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of whiners.

Posted by: elwoll | December 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Not whining, just not riding Metro anymore and I ride it everyday now. TRYING to do my part in reducing the traffic on District roadways. This is the last straw, for me at least. I'd rather pay the monthly cost of parking.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 16, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

This is just a blip on the way to installing whole body x-ray scanners at Metro entrances. When posters pointed out their concerns about being exposed to ionizing radiation at airports, they were told "dont fly - it is a privilege, not a right, take a bus".

Posted by: cellus | December 16, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Gestapo tactics from the worst transit system in the world... Eff Metro... they can pretty much go straight to hel1. There is ZERO chance I will submit willingly to their nazi-thug inspection.

Posted by: medic2010 | December 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

We need to get rid of the gangbangers on Metro...how about some plain clothes officers and enforce the regular rules.

Posted by: nwade1 | December 16, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I remember the "random" searches of carry on bags at airports shortly after 9/11. They went like this: All non-white males were "randomly" pulled out of line to have their bags searched. Everyone else was allowed to board the plane.

Posted by: PrinceGeorges | December 16, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

What happened to our 4th amendment constitutional rights to freedom from illegal search and seizure. What are the standards used to establish probable cause? This is going to lead to profiling especially of teenagers, people of color, and anyone who looks like a Muslim. People are going to be arrested for stuff that has nothing to do with terrorists. The money would be better used to fix escalators and elevators and the cracked ceilings. The recent Farragut North accident and others shows the probability of being injured or killed by lax metro maintenance is higher than that of imjury by terrorist attacks. You need to do random drug tests of the employees.

Posted by: thirty_6degrees | December 16, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

this is a violation of our 4th amendment constitutional rights to freedom from illegal search and seizure

Posted by: thirty_6degrees | December 16, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

We know that random searches end up becoming racial profiling. And what about Metro buses? When will they start searching you, randomly, before you board a bus? Where will they find the resources to place people to do that, as most buses stop every block of their route? It makes no sense.

Posted by: mostreluctant | December 16, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Ionization technology indeed. How much of our tax dollars will it take before the American public wakes up to the fact that this is about money, not about making us safer. Special interests are taking away our civil rights and we're paying for it.

Posted by: amy_l | December 17, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"A few minutes"?

A few minutes can spell the difference between getting to work on time and getting there an hour late.

Can we then get reimbursed by Metro for lost wages?

If the answer is "no" then this should not be allowed.

Posted by: topwriter | December 17, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I could live with this, if they got rid of random escalator outages.

Posted by: WmarkW | December 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I immediately feel safer. (that's what you want to hear, Mr. Gov'mint, right?)

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | December 17, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Unless a transit officer has either a search warrant or a reasonable basis for probable cause that a criminal act would occur, a stop and inspection is an unconstitutional search and seizure, because it violates the Sixth Amendment.

Posted by: flwood2341 | December 16, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

---------------
These procedures hinder your right to a speedy trial and due process?

In all seriousness, are they going to confiscate my pepper spray? Is this just a round-about way to completely disarm the citizenry so if a bad guy really does try something, we're all totally defenseless?

Posted by: pswift00 | December 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

You all need to stop complaining and be good little sheep. I mean who do you think you are? A taxpayer? Metro's customer? Of course not, you are a 'terror suspect' just like everybody else. So don't be getting uppity and bringing up the 4rth amendment and whatnot, it clearly does not apply because... well because they say so. They used the words "security" and "safety" so the ends must justify the means. It's for your own good, just like the full body x-rays they will add a few years from now.

Posted by: afpre42 | December 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

This is not another step on a slippery slope, to coin a phrase from a well-worn die. It is part of our pell-mell ride down an icy luge run.

Posted by: Geezer4 | December 17, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


there's a reason they added this amendment.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | December 17, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I chose "bad idea" but not because of the invasion of privacy issue. That's real enough, but there should have been another option: bad idea because Metro delays are already ridiculous enough.

And they aren't going to stop terrorists. It's just for show and it's going to end up seriously pissing off riders who miss trains. Last night I had a ten minute wait for a Shady Grove train ... mind you, there were two back to back Grovesnor trains that were half empty because ... Metro, are you paying attention? ... NOBODY GOES TO GROVESNOR. By the time the Shady Grove train arrived it was packed because EVERYONE IS GOING SOMEPLACE BEYOND GROVESNOR. It was unnecessarily overcrowded and there were the usual door issues. And the SAME EXACT THING had happened the night before, resulting in the train getting offloaded at Dupont Circle. It happens EVERYTIME THEY RUN DOUBLE GROVENOR TRAINS. EVERY. FREAKING. TIME.

So now Metro has come up with a new way to seriously screw up our commute while keeping absolutely NOBODY any safer.

Here's an idea. Why don't they put some of those transit police on the actual platforms and actual trains instead of letting them stand around in spiffy uniforms feeling all important without actually getting their hands dirty. I'd feel much safer if they were THERE, and as an added bonus it might cut down on the pickpockets and picnic-ers. Never mind the ban on eating in the system. Now families are breaking out whole fast food meals. Well, why not. It's not like Metro bothers to ADVERTISE THE BAN. Teensy, tiny little signs in obscure places where everyone is sure to miss them.

Posted by: cb11 | December 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

This will be executed as poorly and incompetently as everything else Metro does. I've taken Metro to work every day for the last ten years. It's been in a downward spiral for the last four. The lack of professionalism and common courtesy of those in the Metro organization is legendary. The very idea of a Metro employee even touching my personal property makes me want to gag.

For what it's worth, the time and effort would be better spent controlling the packs of unruly teenagers that plague the system.

Posted by: ludditegirl | December 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

You fools. Just do what Big Brother tells you to do, shut up, and don't think about it. The fear of terrorism is what has kept the Republicans in Congress even as they crashed the economy. By increasing the level of stress on the public, they will increase their power.

Just shut up and do as you are told. That's the American Way.

Posted by: LeeH1 | December 17, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

If these searches had been proposed on September 12, 2001, the unanimity of the responses here would have likely been reversed. And if someone were to get caught with a bomb tomorrow, this great mass of "public opinion" would flip-flop in a blink. "Public opinion" has the memory span of a gnat.

I voted "I don't care one way or the other" because I seldom ride Metro. But if all it took was an occasional bag sniff by a dog (which is all that's being proposed, unless they can smell explosives) to make me change my transportation habits, I'd seriously consider counseling.

Posted by: andym108 | December 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It's all for your own good. That's what you'll be told as they herd you willingly into the pit. Idiots. All of you. Idiots.

Posted by: IGiveup1 | December 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone believe that a police officer would actually bother to search a suspicious person? If there's a bomb, it'll just go off in the security check line.

Better to let them pass and search the grannies.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 17, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This would be awesome. In addition to the escalators not working, elevators not working, trains running off the track, shoot-outs, and of course the inevitable choke points up the non-working escalators, we can now expect random calls for your papers. Yes, this is going to be great. Sign me up. Can you raise the rates for the prestigious new safety system? Please, its totally worth more money....

Posted by: mjcc1987 | December 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If I get picked for a search, the least Metro could do would be to have that trip be "on the house," to compensate me for the inconvenience and invasion of privacy. And will they let me on the train if I have a bad case of intestinal gas,or are farts considered a terrorist weapon on Metro?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 17, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Don't touch my junk, bro!

Posted by: bs2004 | December 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

As usual your poll is missing at least one choice: The problem is not privacy, it's the fact that this will not work and will indeed "clog the system." Taborn says each search will take a minute or two; and they search every third bag. Unless they have 100 guys searching bags, we'll be waiting a long time in that line for the search. Math, anyone? 30 to 60 people processed per team of officers per hour?? Do you see any potential problems there?

And my prediction is that they'll have 6 guys there to search bags; one of whom will be on a coffee break and one of whom will be chatting up the station manager at any given time.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Remind me again, why is there even a Metro police? Why not use the local authorities as every other municipality does with reciprocity rules, as every other municipality does.

There's some money saved right there.

Posted by: jasonmason | December 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be trouble special if they want to inspect the teen's bag's, or would they be checked as well?

Posted by: onesugar | December 19, 2010 4:57 AM | Report abuse

I think the days of rationally functioning public transportation systems are numbered. I rode Metro for 25 years or so, and any truly effective passenger-screening system would be incompatible with the goal of moving large numbers of people quickly and (relatively) inexpensively. This new spasm in the System is yet another example, sadly, of how Bin Laden has WON. The impact of actual terrorism is increasingly dwarfed by the impact of our own paranoia and fear. And, the effect of any actual terrorist event is vastly magnified by our reaction to it. Scary times lie ahead.

Posted by: keeladog | December 19, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Like others, I don't see the point of these random bag searches. Suppose a terrorist with a bomb gets stopped for a search - whouldn't he just blow up it up right then and there? He achieves his goal - kills all the people around him. Does it really matter to the terrorist if he can't get on the train itself? I would think he'd be quite happy to get his 72 virgins in paradise whichever way he can.

Posted by: josetucson | December 19, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

This is an incredibly stupid idea. Metro can't even keep the trains running and the escalators operational--problems that cause an immediate and daily risk to commuter safety. Unfortunately, however, we seem to have become a nation of whimps who want to be "safe" no matter what the cost. People need to wake up and acknowledge that life is not "safe" by its very nature and that anyone wanting to blow up a plane or a train can easily do so--especially if they're willing to die in the endeavor. Looks like we have gone from the "home of the brave" to the "home of the craven."

Posted by: Madam81 | December 19, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

This is an incredibly stupid idea. Metro can't even keep the trains running and the escalators operational--problems that cause an immediate and daily risk to commuter safety. Unfortunately, however, we seem to have become a nation of whimps who want to be "safe" no matter what the cost. People need to wake up and acknowledge that life is not "safe" by its very nature and that anyone wanting to blow up a plane or a train can easily do so--especially if they're willing to die in the endeavor. Looks like we have gone from the "home of the brave" to the "home of the craven."

Posted by: Madam81 | December 19, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I wish Metro had been as diligent about inspecting its escalators as they're going to be about inspecting baggage.

Posted by: MarkDavidovich | December 19, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I wish Metro had been as diligent about inspecting its escalators as they're going to be about inspecting baggage.

Posted by: MarkDavidovich | December 19, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Why was there no option in the poll which said "This is a bad idea because of the potential delays it will cause"? I don't care about the invasion of my privacy, but I do care about the waste of my time.

Posted by: xmajux | December 19, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

They're not dumb.

I'm guessing they're worried someone will hijack a Metro train and fly it into a skyscraper, or the Pentagon.

Posted by: seattle_wa | December 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Just like the airport.

"Plan to arrive at the Metro station 2 full hours before the scheduled time of departure for your train."

Posted by: seattle_wa | December 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Another example of using taxpayers money to create jobs that take away more of our freedom!!!
Searches without cause or warrants!
Do you mind if we search your car???
Answer should be "no if you have a warrant" without the law officer being allowed to take that as an agreement of wrongdoing!!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | December 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Any goon who stops me in the Metro to violate my Constitutional rights is getting a whistled performance of the Nazi anthem right in his face.

I know it won't change anything, but at least these scum will know what they are. And no, they're not just "doing their jobs." If your job becomes morally and legally repugnant, you quit and get a different job.

Posted by: karlmarx2 | December 19, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't expect me to ride it or support funding for it again.

Posted by: Nymous | December 19, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This is a colossal waste of Metro resources and money. Metro transit police can't even manage to respond to rider's who complain about various assaults, robberies, and worse; so you expect me to believe that this is the best use of those resources?

Metro, why can't you think before you do anything? I know it's a rhetorical question, but can't you just for once do something that makes sense for the riders?

Posted by: mika_england | December 20, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't seem prudent for the post to send me a news update via email telling me where the bag searches are taking place today... Or any other day. An element of surprise is helpful.

Posted by: Esutton1 | December 21, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

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