Friday, December 17, 2010

Good Morning: Police to Do Random Bag Searches at Metro Stations

You can put your shovel away for the time being. The snow has stopped and Friday's relative warmth --a high of about 38 degrees-- and ample sunshine will melt away most of the white stuff. With the wind-chill factor it will feel closer to 32 degrees, though.

TBD and DCist report that the police will start conducting random bag searches at Metro entrances. You can refuse to have your bag checked, but if you do, you can't enter that Metro station.

I know that I'm not the only person who's puzzled by this impending policy that will not do anything to prevent a terrorist attack. All a terrorist has to do is say no and then either enter Metro from another station, try another day or wait until there aren't any police at that particular Metro station. Here is an excerpt from the official Metro announcement:
The inspections are expected to take only minutes and are designed to be non-intrusive, as 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. Anyone who is randomly selected and refuses to submit their carry-on items for inspection will be prohibited from bringing those items into the station. Customers who encounter a baggage checkpoint at a station entrance may choose not to enter the station if they would prefer not to submit their carry-ons for inspection.
The TSA will be assisting Metro in these screenings, which will take place at table set up in front of the entrance gates.

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