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TSA grants help TriMet step up security during holidays

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) will use Transportation Security Administration (TSA) grants to increase security measures during the holiday season, agency officials announced yesterday.

A $184,000, two-year grant will fund overtime for TriMet police officers to increase missions on and around the agency's system during the holidays. The funds will enable TriMet to add transit police patrols during the city of Portland's Holiday Tree Lighting event, on the "Black Friday" shopping day after Thanksgiving Day and for New Year's Eve, as well as other large events throughout the next two years, according to a press release.

The TSA also has provided more than $244,000 for transit police overtime during the past three years, which helped TriMet add 4,750 patrol hours to secure the system, agency officials said.

The TSA is also helping make it easier for TriMet riders to "See something, say something" through a more than $224,000 grant to develop a mobile text-based reporting system. The campaign encourages riders who witness something suspicious to report it to a TriMet employee or a police officer, or call 911.

"With the TSA grant, we are developing a service where riders can report a security concern by text," said TriMet Executive Director of Safety and Security Harry Saporta. "While the system has yet to be designed, it will be monitored in real time and include the ability to send photos, engage in a two-way text conversation or stay anonymous."

Transit agency security will be among the topics discussed at Secure Rail, a new educational conference to be held Feb. 3-4, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. Presented by Progressive Railroading, the conference will focus on protecting and  managing the security of rail technology, assets and people. To learn more or to register, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/13/2014