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Public doesn't like bag inspections on D.C. Metro. Where's the middle ground?

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Friday, January 7, 2011

It was only in November that I wrote this story about Tom Ridge's comments regarding a bombing attempt in the D.C. Metro. Basically, Ridge said that no matter what measures are put in place to secure public transportation, the risk remains high. But, better some security than none, right? Recently the Metro announced it has begun conducting random inspections of carry-on items.

“This adds another layer of security to our system,” said MTPD Chief Michael A. Taborn, in the article. “The program will increase visible methods of protecting our passengers and employees, while minimizing inconvenience to riders."

Well, apparently the inconvenience has become too much. I just read this article in The Washington Post that the Metro Riders' Advisory Council voted overwhelming for a resolution that will ask the Metro board to suspend bag inspections and consult with the public about transit security policy. Some members of the council said that the inspections are unnecessary because there are no credible threats to the transit system. Um, well, no threats except that guy who said he wanted to blow it up, right?

But, apparently the inspections are only suppose to take a few minutes and are fairly non-intrusive:
Police will randomly select bags or packages to check for hazardous materials using ionization technology as well as K-9 units trained to detect explosive materials. Carry on items will generally not be opened and physically inspected unless the equipment indicates a need for further inspection.

I know the public probably finds the inspections annoying more than anything, but there's got to be something in place to deter the crazies. Let's work to find a middle ground and not just kill the inspections, people. It's for your own good.