New Metro Transit Police unit focuses on anti-terrorism
Federal grant funds officers, equipment and training
The Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) now has a dedicated unit devoted to deterring a terrorist attack in the Metro system. The new anti-terrorism team will increase surveillance of the Metro system, conduct more frequent security sweeps of Metro facilities and tunnels, and provide greater visibility of uniformed officers.
Using a $9.56 million Transit Security Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), MTPD formed the 20-member, anti-terror team in December. The team, whose mission is to deter terrorists from selecting Metro as a target, will use tactics such as increased surveillance and random, unpredictable patrols of Metro buses, trains, stations and facilities to keep the Metro system and its riders as secure as possible.
The anti-terror unit will respond to calls for service directly related to suspicious packages or threats, and provide a uniformed, high-visibility presence directed toward anti-terror. The team also will increase intelligence gathering, enhance cooperation and information sharing with federal and local law enforcement agencies, and implement new technology to prevent and identify threats related to terrorism.
“Our new anti-terrorism teams will enhance the security of the Metro system and supplement existing efforts and initiatives used by the Metro Transit Police,” said Metro Transit Police Deputy Chief Dave Webb. “From increased surveillance and intelligence gathering to more visible police patrols and new technology, the anti-terror teams aim to make the Metro system an unattractive target for terrorists.”
The members of the anti-terror unit consist of 20 veteran MTPD officers, divided into five, four-person teams. The teams will work alongside and supplement existing resources, such as MTPD’s explosive ordnance detection unit and patrol officers. MTPD is using the DHS Transit Security Grant to fund the 20-person group, including training and equipment.
Media contact for this news release: Cathy Asato or Lisa Farbstein at 202-962-1051.
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News release issued at 9:35 am, January 6, 2010.