MBTA Ordered to Resume Bag Searches

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Robert Paniagua
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Post by Robert Paniagua » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:12 am

sery2831 wrote:As of Sept 11 this year the T police have been doing random searches at Anderson, Beverly, and Salem. They come during morning rush hour, and walk the trains with bomb dogs.

I am also going to monitor this thread closely. If its goes off topic or tempers heat up, this will be locked.
Yeah and in 2004 at the week before the DNC, they were doing searches at a few Southside Stations including one of my favorites (where I board) at Holbrook/Randolph.

I also side with Mr. Burke, with the police K9ers riding and searching CR equipment, that's a very good idea, search them in and out.
~Robert Paniagua
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jck
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Post by jck » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:13 am

b&m 1566 wrote:
NealG wrote: I don't think it’s a waste of money in fact I would rather see a train break down because of insufficient funds taken away in order to have a safer ride.
I disagree. If the service is unreliable, commuters will be forced to drive their cars instead. If the goal is saving lives, deaths on the road are far more likely than death on a train, generally.

I don't mind the additional security, but I do question whether this is a sensible approach. Again, why not have extra officers simply patrolling the system? The officers can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, and can prevent or stop both petty and violent crime. By contrast, a guy looking through someone's bag cannot do any of these things.

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
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Post by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:20 am

double post
Last edited by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 on Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:20 am

Pete wrote: I am free to *not* consent to the searches and leave the system. In fact, if asked to be searched, this is precisely what I plan on doing. It was well documented in 2004 that those declining consent would be asked to leave. I'm fine with that. The great majority of my trips are faster by bicycle. However the MBTA thinks it best to make up the small amount of lost revenue is fine by me. As the bumper stickers someone should make should say, freedom is worth more than $1.25.
not to be hostile or anything, but do you have something to hide? whats it matter if the Police search your bags? it only takes a quick look inside, 30 seconds to a minute will be taken out of your life for your safety, and you probably will spend 2 minutes waiting for the subway anyway id rather have people be searched in the subway then getting blown up

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Post by octr202 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:23 am

Pete wrote:I am free to *not* consent to the searches and leave the system. In fact, if asked to be searched, this is precisely what I plan on doing. It was well documented in 2004 that those declining consent would be asked to leave. I'm fine with that. The great majority of my trips are faster by bicycle. However the MBTA thinks it best to make up the small amount of lost revenue is fine by me. As the bumper stickers someone should make should say, freedom is worth more than $1.25.
According to this morning's article in the Globe, that might not be advisable (to leave when told you are selected for a search), if they go by the same rules as New York:
In New York, police open the bags of randomly selected passengers and look quickly to locate explosives, Browne wrote in an e-mail response to questions. They do not open small purses and do not inspect or read written material, he said. Subway riders can leave stations rather than have their bags searched, but can be arrested if they try to leave once they are chosen for inspection.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articl ... for_bombs/

So, if you don't want to be searched, it sounds like you have to turn around and leave before entering the station.

I am dissapointed to think of the amount of police time that will be wasted swabbing people's bags when that could be devoted to more patrols of public and non-public spaces of the system. This method of search sure appears to me to only be likely to catch a terrorist that is either unprepared or stupid.
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Post by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:27 am

but this is the police's job, to find criminals and arrest them...... and it will be transit police, this is what they do, search the MBTA system and protect the riders

MBTA3247
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Post by MBTA3247 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:28 am

stevefoley wrote:
GP40MC 1116 wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:
The world is different as it was 5 years ago, so things that were done/or not done back then are comming back and are more standardized. We have to adapt to change, and change is something that will happen. As i stated before railroad safety and transit safety is a VITAL and NESSISARY item to be protected We need to stay ahead, not behind :-D
Five years ago, 19 nutcases took advantage of pathetic airline security and made a big splash. Even a nutty group like Aum Shinriko could have pulled it off. But instead of treating these idiots for what they were, politicians have exploited the peoples fears to the point at which the threat is now so overstated its ridiculous.
I agree. The continuous push by politicians for more "security" is eventually going to lead us to a police state a la V For Vendetta.
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danib62
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Post by danib62 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:35 am

Can we please stop calling it a search! It's not even a real search. They don't even open your bag!!!

All they do is take a small peice of cloth and run it along the zipper and then test it for explosive residue. They only open your bag if it tests positive. Calling it a bag search is a way to scare people into thinking that their privacy is going to be horribly invaded when it really isn't so can we please call it what it is?
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Robert Paniagua
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Post by Robert Paniagua » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:46 am

If neccesary, I even offer to open my bag so that it makes it easier for TPD to see what's in, I wouldn't mind it either, I'm for the inspection by TPD.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

Pete
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Post by Pete » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:32 am

octr202 wrote:
Pete wrote:I am free to *not* consent to the searches and leave the system. In fact, if asked to be searched, this is precisely what I plan on doing. It was well documented in 2004 that those declining consent would be asked to leave. I'm fine with that. The great majority of my trips are faster by bicycle. However the MBTA thinks it best to make up the small amount of lost revenue is fine by me. As the bumper stickers someone should make should say, freedom is worth more than $1.25.
According to this morning's article in the Globe, that might not be advisable (to leave when told you are selected for a search), if they go by the same rules as New York:
In New York, police open the bags of randomly selected passengers and look quickly to locate explosives, Browne wrote in an e-mail response to questions. They do not open small purses and do not inspect or read written material, he said. Subway riders can leave stations rather than have their bags searched, but can be arrested if they try to leave once they are chosen for inspection.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articl ... for_bombs/

So, if you don't want to be searched, it sounds like you have to turn around and leave before entering the station.
You know something, I don't think that legally holds water, and I think it's yet another of the many great examples of why one shouldn't accept the police's interpretation of the law. The courts still do occasionally still like to reserve that right for themselves.
I am dissapointed to think of the amount of police time that will be wasted swabbing people's bags when that could be devoted to more patrols of public and non-public spaces of the system. This method of search sure appears to me to only be likely to catch a terrorist that is either unprepared or stupid.
Agreed. But it's much less alarming, and hence much less politically useful to do that. Plus those police might get distracted by the non-terrorist crimes that we know are happening rather than the terrorist crimes that we speculate may be happening.

AznSumtinSumtin
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Post by AznSumtinSumtin » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:03 pm

I don't mind having my bags tested for explosive residue, but this whole thing isn't going to make a big difference. If a suicide bomber gets caught on a train, they can still blow themselves up. People still die. Caught or not caught, suicide bombers will still kill people. These aren't people that say "Oh shoot! I got caught. I might as well give up." They say "Oh shoot! I got caught. I might as well blow myself up." Searching everyone's bags isn't going to make a big difference in the end.

b&m 1566
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Post by b&m 1566 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:31 pm

octr202 wrote:I am dissapointed to think of the amount of police time that will be wasted swabbing people's bags when that could be devoted to more patrols of public and non-public spaces of the system. This method of search sure appears to me to only be likely to catch a terrorist that is either unprepared or stupid.
Don't always point the finger at an outside terrorist. Persons planning to commit a crime could be people who have "gone over the edge” It could be your doctor, dentist, school teacher the list goes on; All people are just as capable of committing such crimes as someone from a terrorist organization, cult or extremist. Random searches are effective and do the job the way they are suppose to. The point of it is to deter someone who is trying to commit a crime. You never know on a random search if you’re the next person to be searched. For someone trying to not get got; that is too great of a chance to get caught. Though there are something’s I disagree with how the MBTA is doing things what they are doing will be effective in the long run.

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Post by GP40MC 1116 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:35 pm

Pete wrote:
GP40MC 1116 wrote:I hate to say it, but since the MBTA is a "Authority"under the State of MA, when the Gov says something, you have to do it, no if's and's buts about it.
How did you arrive at this interpretation of the law?

The MBTA's status as an "authority" in this sense indicates only that it is a quasi-public corporation charged with a specific mandate, not subject to local control, and independent of the Commonwealth in a fiduciary sense for bonding purposes. "Authority" should not be mistaken for some sort of all-powerful ruling body.

Much like the MBTA, the governor holds only certain specific powers granted by the constitution of the Commonwealth, at the pleasure of the electorate, to enforce that constitution. This does not give him supreme authority to abridge the constitutional rights of individuals. I hold title to all "ifs," "ands," and "buts" that the constitution does not specifically deny me.

I am free to *not* consent to the searches and leave the system. In fact, if asked to be searched, this is precisely what I plan on doing. It was well documented in 2004 that those declining consent would be asked to leave. I'm fine with that. The great majority of my trips are faster by bicycle. However the MBTA thinks it best to make up the small amount of lost revenue is fine by me. As the bumper stickers someone should make should say, freedom is worth more than $1.25.

I agree wholeheartedly with the many people here who see through this as a cynical ploy by an administration trying to promote its top two officials to higher offices. It is consistent with their overall approach across the board in the recent past. Keeping people in a state of panic for political gain is fearmongering at its worst, as it ultimately will needlessly hasten complacency, and endanger everyone more. It is shameful behavior.

I now regret posting on this tipic because I see how people are taking this personal, rather than we can have a friendly discussion as we are all railfans.Yes you have the right to decline the searches, we all do, but as you stated, Transit Police will have you leave the system. I don't mind them taking 5 minutes out of my day to check my bag, thats not a problem. I persoanlly don't get involved in politics, neither do i live in Mass, so some of you may think the bag searches are some sort of "political move"

I don't get involved nor try to "worry" about all these issues, they don't effect me when I travel on the MBTA system, and until they get so bad, then maybie i will say something, but not now, it's a Transit Authority moving over millions of people weekly if not daily, nothing can be perfect,hoever with that said safety is a issue that needs to be adressed and kept as a top priority. I see that things look to be moving in the right direction

sery2831
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Post by sery2831 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:21 pm

Alright... I am going to lock this, it's going too far.
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