Amtrak Will Increase Security for 9/11 Anniversary

Amtrak will increase security efforts for the 10th anniversary of September 11th.  A recent Amtrak press release indicates that there will be more passenger and baggage screenings. In addition to the increased screenings, the use of K-9 explosive detection will be more prevalent and there will be increased patrols around stations, trains, tracks and other rail infrastructure.  These security measures will be focused in the Northeast Corridor and other passenger rail services across the country in “coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as with the several host railroads on whose tracks many Amtrak trains operate.”

While these increased security measures are related to the 9/11 anniversary, Amtrak has been making constant security upgrades during the last decade since the attack.  The Amtrak Police Department (APD) became more focused on identifying security threats and implementing strategies to prevent possible attacks.  Since 2001, Amtrak has focused on passenger screening, K-9 teams and developed strong connections with local, state and federal agencies; the most notable partnership being with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.  Amtrak has continued to improve security with the help of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to test and integrate detection technologies effectively in train stations.  Other security improvement goals of Amtrak include enhancing interagency information sharing and improved local agency response to Amtrak incidents.

Beyond their official efforts, Amtrak hopes that security can be improved by the efforts of their employees and passengers.  Amtrak has noted that thousands of their employees have received security training and will have a watchful eye against possible terrorist threats.  For passengers or members of the public who want to report anything suspicious at their local Amtrak station, they are encouraged to report directly to Amtrak Police as part of the Partners for Amtrak Safety and Security (PASS).  These encouragements are all related to Amtrak’s new security slogan, “If you See Something, Say Something…Hopefully, its Nothing.”

Increased security at Amtrak stations may feel like a chore to many commuter rail passengers, but the solemn ten year reminder of 9/11 this year will help to subside any negative feelings about personal inconveniences.  Across the world, it has been shown again and again that trains are a serious target for terrorist attacks; high passenger density, loose screening and the general chaos of train stations make trains a far more vulnerable than airports/airplanes.  Luckily, Amtrak’s safety initiatives are positively helping to fight these common security problems, especially by increasing communication and coordination with local and federal law enforcement agencies. Although the likelihood of a terrorist attack on an Amtrak are slim, increased security should be greatly appreciated.  By providing better security and announcing it to the public, Amtrak is providing soundness of mind to thousands of commuters as Sept. 11 approaches.


{ 1 comment }

Dave Dachenglo August 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm

very glad they are doing this. The railroads could be a target as the airlines are well secured

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