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Metro-North, LIRR get security boost

(New York television station WNBC posted the following article on its website on March 20.)

NEW YORK -- Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains are about to see increased police patrols -- and officials say the boost in police manpower will be permanent.

Security officials will be riding the trains in addition to beefing up security at suburban rail stations, which will include some random bag checks.

Officials stressed that there is no new specific threat information, but many are concerned that the New York metro rail system remains a terror target.

“The more resources that we can put into the system, the more eyes and ears that we can get out of it, the better off we are going to be,” said Lewis Schiliro, the MTA’s director of interagency preparedness.

“I think the public can be assured that within the MTA, within the New York law enforcement community, that everything that humanly possible to be done is being done,” Schiliro said.

In addition to Wednesday’s announcement about increased police patrols, MTA officials said they have been actively working to make facilities more secure.

They have been making regular inspections of tracks for damage or sabotage and have added more cameras and fencing along track tunnels.

“We have some cameras installed outside the tunnels, and as part of the long term security program, we will be putting cameras in throughout the tunnels,” said Jose Fernandez, vice president of LIRR security.

The focus on rail security comes after bombings in recent years in London, Madrid and Mumbai.

MTA officials said they also have command posts set up for their railways -- and a separate post for bridges and tunnels -- where cameras are monitored around the clock.

Security checkpoints at numerous crossings continue to look out for suspicious vehicles at random.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

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