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Boston plans to resume bag searches

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on October 6.)

BOSTON -- Police will resume inspections of bags on public trains, buses and boats for the first time since the Democratic National Convention was held in the city in 2004.

Gov. Mitt Romney made the announcement Thursday. Romney, a Republican weighing a 2008 run for president, said that the inspections for possible explosives were not a response to any immediate threat but that police recognize transportation systems are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Daniel Grabauskas, general manager of the MBTA, said the inspections would begin as early as next week and could be done quickly enough to guarantee riders aren’t slowed down. Police will check a bag by swabbing the outside for any traces of explosive materials, a minutelong process that can be followed by a request to open the bag.

To guard against ethnic profiling, police will either inspect all riders entering a station or pick out riders on a random numerical basis — every third, or fifth or eighth rider, Transit Police Chief Joseph Carter said.

Friday, October 6, 2006

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