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Hundreds take part in transit counter-terrorism exercise

(The following appeared on the Progressive Railroading website on June 25, 2010.)

During yesterday's morning and evening commutes, Amtrak and Metra police, Transportation Security Administration officials and law enforcement officers from more than 100 federal, state, local and rail police agencies took part in an expanded counterterrorism and incident response capabilities exercise. Participants were deployed at more than 100 passenger rail stations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

The exercise was part of Operation ALERTS, or Allied Law Enforcement for Rail and Transit Security, a coordinated effort involving activities such as heightened station patrols, increased security presence on trains, explosives detection canine sweeps and random passenger bag inspections at unannounced locations.

Yesterday’s operation will be reviewed to identify any lessons learned. The exercise also will provide a model for developing regional “templates” that will facilitate smaller-scale but more frequent joint rail security operations, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

Monday, June 28, 2010

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