MBTA Ordered to Resume Bag Searches

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helium
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:49 am

MBTA Ordered to Resume Bag Searches

Post by helium » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:24 am

From Boston.com:

http://tinyurl.com/fkj54


Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it, unless it got repetitive.
But just what is "probable cause"?
A kid with blue hair?
A person of a certain ethnicity?
Or do you actually have to be doing something?

Robert Paniagua
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:11 am
Location: Weymouth, MA 02188

Post by Robert Paniagua » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:48 pm

Well, they said that even after the second London bombings, that they MBTA wouldn't do bag searches unless it received a specific thread.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

sabourinj

Re: MBTA Ordered to Resume Bag Searches

Post by sabourinj » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:26 pm

helium wrote:From Boston.com:

http://tinyurl.com/fkj54


Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it, unless it got repetitive.
But just what is "probable cause"?
A kid with blue hair?
A person of a certain ethnicity?
Or do you actually have to be doing something?
Actually the regulations say it has to be conducted at a predetermined interval "one out of every five" I think is the example they used. Once that is done, a possitive hit with the "swab" testing machines would be probable cause for further inspection.

See the MBTA press release at http://www.mbta.com/insidethet/press_re ... sp?ID=1276

helium
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:49 am

Post by helium » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:26 pm

Yeah, but the article states that Romney is ORDERING the T to resume searches, seemingly whenever they feel like it as long as there "is probable cause".

I'd like to see statistics on how many non-white people get searched, or people of a certain age, etc.

jamesinclair
Posts: 2244
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Post by jamesinclair » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:29 pm

As long as I dont get stopped as my train is pulling into the station and Im running to catch it.....

MBTA3247
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Post by MBTA3247 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:37 pm

the tests can be done in a less than one minute, minimizing impacts on T riders.
Where are they planning to conduct the tests? On the trains, like they did in 2004, or on the platforms? Either way, I don't see how they can do this without causing substantial delays and/or leaving plenty of opportunities for a terrorist to evade the inspections.

This is a feel-good measure. It's a waste of taxpayer money that will do nothing to increase security on the T.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.

sabourinj

Post by sabourinj » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:40 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
the tests can be done in a less than one minute, minimizing impacts on T riders.
Where are they planning to conduct the tests? On the trains, like they did in 2004, or on the platforms? Either way, I don't see how they can do this without causing substantial delays and/or leaving plenty of opportunities for a terrorist to evade the inspections.

This is a feel-good measure. It's a waste of taxpayer money that will do nothing to increase security on the T.
Do you have a more effective idea? Something can't possibly be worse than doing nothing.

jck
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:46 am

Post by jck » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:05 pm

"Let's do something" is not a good reason to be doing these types of searches. I simply cannot see how they can be effective.

Should we stop random cars on the Mass Pike coming into Boston as well?

Why not just have more officers patrolling the system, rather than randomly (or not-so randomly) harrassing riders? At least the additional officers could do something useful, like stopping on fare evaders.

sabourinj

Post by sabourinj » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:16 pm

jck wrote:"Let's do something" is not a good reason to be doing these types of searches. I simply cannot see how they can be effective.

Should we stop random cars on the Mass Pike coming into Boston as well?

Why not just have more officers patrolling the system, rather than randomly (or not-so randomly) harrassing riders? At least the additional officers could do something useful, like stopping on fare evaders.
Are you willing to pay more taxes or even higher fares to get the funds to hire extra officers? Keep in mind the MBTA is already trying to merge their police with the State Police to become more effective at patrolling.

BigRock
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:50 am
Location: Somerville, MA

Post by BigRock » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:17 pm

Yes, we definitely need to stop 1 out of every 5 cars that drives into Boston on the MassPike and on I-93 from the North and South. Cars are obviously a security threat because they can hold thousands of pounds of explosives, as opposed to humans who are walking. Since the swab tests take less than a minute, it should only affect rush hour congestion by a minute.

jck
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:46 am

Post by jck » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:37 pm

sabourinj wrote:
jck wrote:"Let's do something" is not a good reason to be doing these types of searches. I simply cannot see how they can be effective.

Should we stop random cars on the Mass Pike coming into Boston as well?

Why not just have more officers patrolling the system, rather than randomly (or not-so randomly) harrassing riders? At least the additional officers could do something useful, like stopping on fare evaders.
Are you willing to pay more taxes or even higher fares to get the funds to hire extra officers? Keep in mind the MBTA is already trying to merge their police with the State Police to become more effective at patrolling.
How are the bag searches being paid for? I'm arguing if the governor is going to order security personal into the MBTA system anyway, I would favor having them do something useful, e.g., patrol the stations, stop fare evaders, prevent crime or mischief, rather than perform random bags search on unsuspecting commuters.

Is there any evidence at all that stopping commuters at random on the train is at all useful in preventing terrorist attacks as compared to simply having an increased police presence?

sery2831
Posts: 5138
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Post by sery2831 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:03 pm

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.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations

stevefoley

Post by stevefoley » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:14 pm

Robert Paniagua wrote:Well, they said that even after the second London bombings, that they MBTA wouldn't do bag searches unless it received a specific thread.
Yeah, and the only specific threat is to his lieutenent gov's job, so he thinks that "reminding" us of the so called "war on terror" will frighten us into somehow voting for her. Nice job Mutt.

danib62
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:01 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Post by danib62 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:22 pm

I have no problem with the swab tests that the MBTA police are going to be doing. Remember that the goal of bag checks is not to find bombs but to serve as a deterent so someone wouldn't try to bring a bomb along in the first place. You don't need to to screen every bag to be a viable detterent. Checking random bags at random locations at random times serves this purpose fine.

jamesinclair
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Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Post by jamesinclair » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:13 pm

danib62 wrote:I have no problem with the swab tests that the MBTA police are going to be doing. Remember that the goal of bag checks is not to find bombs but to serve as a deterent so someone wouldn't try to bring a bomb along in the first place. You don't need to to screen every bag to be a viable detterent. Checking random bags at random locations at random times serves this purpose fine.
I disagree.

Terrorist brings bomg into station.
Officer stops him to check bag
Terrorist says "oh *" and detonates bomb.


Oh wait, looks like he got what he wanted. Officer couldnt do a thing to stop it.

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