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9/1/2011



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak to step up security measures for 9/11 anniversary


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To mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Amtrak plans to enhance security measures by conducting more rider and baggage screenings, increasing the use of K-9 explosive detection teams and expanding police patrols at stations, trains and other key rail infrastructure.

The Amtrak Police Department (APD) will take these actions along the Northeast Corridor and across the country in coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as with the host railroads, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

“Amtrak is committed to identifying the most likely security threats and we are focusing our efforts on defeating or deterring the most dangerous and likely threats,” said Amtrak Vice President and Chief of Police John O’Conner.

In the 10 years since the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., the APD has transitioned from a traditional police department aimed at preventing and responding to crimes, to a police and security agency geared toward anticipating security threats in the short and long term, “and staying a step ahead of them,” Amtrak officials said.

The national intercity passenger railroad currently is working with the Transportation Security Administration to test, integrate and implement intrusion detection technologies to more effectively protect rights of way. Other technologies Amtrak is developing will improve existing security strategy and operations, enhance inter-agency information sharing and local agency response to incidents, Amtrak officials said.


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