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Mobile security teams unveiled to keep Amtrak safe

(The following report appeared at WJZ.com on March 20.)

WILMINGTON, Del. ó Amtrak passenger trains cover a lot of miles, and keeping them covered for security reasons is creating a new tactic.

Alex DeMetrick reports the first mobile security team was unveiled in Wilmington, Del. Thursday.

The Amtrak station in Wilmington sits right in the middle of the heavily traveled Atlantic Corridor.

Thursday it bristled with fire power, random baggage checks for explosives and firearms and bomb sniffing dogs, as Amtrak Police unveiled the first of its mobile security teams.

"There is also a counter-terrorism element to it, a plain-clothes element, so in addition to what you see physically, there are people who are watching for people who are watching us," said Chief John O'Connor with Amtrack Police.

Unlike airports, Amtrak Police are not checking every bag that comes into a station. Instead, intermittent spot checks are used.

A treated swab wipes down luggage, and a high tech sniffer does the rest.
It takes about 30 seconds, and most passengers don't seem to mind.

The mobile security teams will start first in the east, but they will eventually be deployed to Amtrak stations and trains nationwide.

Monday, March 24, 2008

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