D.C. Metro Police to search bags at stations
The Washington subway system will conduct random searches of passengers' bags and other carry-on items in order to increase security, the Metro Transit Police said today.
The Metro police said the program, under which it will inspect bags at station entrances, is based on programs now in effect in New York and Boston. According to the police, the inspections -- conducted in conjunction with the Trransportation Security Administration, are designed to minimize intrusiveness by using ionization technology and explosives-sniffing dogs.
Nevertheless, the police said the inspections are mandatory for those who are selected and who want to ride the subway. They said Metro customers who refuse the inspection will not be allowed to bring their carry-on items into the station. They said passengers who see a bagage checkpoint at a station entrance and do not want to submit to inspection can leave without entering.
The police said they usually will not conduct a physical inspection of an item unless a less intrusive test shows a need for greater scrutiny.