DHS steps up transit security, partners with Amtrak

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Monday, July 5, 2010

WASHINGTON—On the day that John Pistole was sworn in as the new head of the Transportation Security Administration, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano took the opportunity to focus on improving the nation’s surface transit system.

During a July 1 multi-stop train tour through New York City, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia and Washington, Napolitano launched the first phase of DHS’s nationwide "See Something, Say Something" campaign. This program, which was originally implemented by New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority after 9/11, seeks to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to authorities.

Napolitano was joined by Amtrak Police Chief John O'Connor to announce a new national information-sharing partnership with Amtrak as part of the Suspicious Activity Reporting initiative. SAR is a partnership among federal, state, and local law enforcement to establish a standard process for law enforcement to identify and report suspicious incidents and share that information nationally so it can be analyzed to identify broader trends, according to the press release.

"Implementing a national suspicious activity reporting partnership with Amtrak and expanding the 'See Something, Say Something' campaign strengthens our ability to guard against terrorism and crime," said Secretary Napolitano, in a press release. "These initiatives enable us to provide frontline security personnel with the latest information and intelligence to recognize behaviors and indicators associated with new and evolving threats."