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Boston security talks get on track

(The following report by Robin Washington appeared on the Boston Herald website on April 29.)

BOSTON -- Representatives of transit and law enforcement agencies will join a group of Bay State congressmen tomorrow in an effort to get security concerns on the same track.

"Where we have different agencies - MBTA, Amtrak - I think it's important to get everyone together and make sure there are no gaps in the system," said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston), who called the Boston meeting.

Transport Workers Union of America official Charlie Moneypenny welcomed the dialogue and plans to attend. "Our on-board (Amtrak) service personnel have never been trained how to evacuate from the tunnels of New York," he said.

Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black said some efforts are already stepping up, with the Transportation Security Administration conducting a pilot screening program at Amtrak's New Carrolton, Md., station, likely next week.

"The pilot project is going to include the Washington Metro and a regional commuter rail service," he said.

MBTA chief Michael Mulhern, who also will attend, said much of rail security depends on high-tech devices, including a multimillion-dollar fiber optic upgrade. "Unfortunately some of those investments are 12 to 18 months from completion," he said, adding in the meantime, the T will stress training.

"My goal is to have five to six hundred front-line employees all trained before the (Democratic National Convention) in anti-terrorism (responsiveness)," he said.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

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