From Planes To Trains: TSA Expands Spot Searches To Union Station

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An all-too-familiar sight at LAX and the rest of the nation’s airports will soon be coming to the city’s busiest train station.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports rail passengers have started seeing Transportation Security Administration on patrol at Union Station on a more frequent basis.

As many as 25 VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention & Response) teams began patrolling train stations nationwide last summer conducting an estimated 9,300 “suspicionless” spot searches of travelers.

The agency has said the presence of officers with explosive detection dogs, radiation monitors and other devices will act as a deterrent in the nation’s busiest travel hubs.

But some remain wary of the expansion of the TSA’s powers and its potentially constitutional infringements.

“I guess if it didn’t feel like an invasion of my privacy, if I wasn’t being aggressively interrogated or if it wasn’t impeding my personal travel, I guess I would be okay with it,” said Zane.

A video shot in a train station in Savanahh, Georgia, in February apparently showed TSA agents screening passengers as they stepped off a train — as opposed to the more common pre-boarding screening procedures — in a move for which the agency later publicly apologized.

Others, however, said the TSA was a welcome sight outside of the airport terminal.

“I haven’t noticed it around here too much lately,” said Gabby Conklin. “I feel more safer.”

The TSA is planning to add an additional 12 VIPR teams across the country in 2012.

More from Pete Demetriou

One Comment

  1. PoliceState says:

    Just what we need! Thank god these hardly trained individuals will be out there harassing minorities to hopefully find minor drug possesion! I feel so much safer! Now maybe I’ll actually take the train. What kind of treats do drug/bomb sniffing dogs like?

  2. Bill Fisher says:

    The “I feel more safer” statement illustrates the lack of intellect of those who support the erosion of their 4th Amendment rights.

    So much for Napolitano’s advice that travelers who don’t want to be scanned and groped should take the train or bus. Now they are bringing the gropings to those forms of travel.

    This agency is a huge waste of money and just a jobs program for criminals and misfits. It does far more to endanger travelers than it does to protect them.

  3. steve addams says:

    good for CBS using the word “suspicionless” relating to the searches, but why end the piece, as the media is consisting doing, with some random person saying they feel safer. who cares how she feels, this is a breach of the constitution, plain and simple.

  4. Lisa Simeone says:

    If passengers at train stations put up with this abuse as the sheeple at airports have, then this country will get exactly what it deserves.

  5. Rise of the Police State says:

    these are the same people that support the NDAA. The “anything for safety” people will get what they ask for.

  6. LeChat says:

    I will avoid any venue where the TSA is present. That means shopping malls, sporting events, train stations, and especially airports. I will also send letters to the owners of shopping malls and sporting teams informing them as to why I will no longer have anything to do with them.
    As it is, I don’t travel by either aircraft or rail. If they want the transportation system to collapse, let it happen now.

  7. Charlie says:

    Just who is it that wrote the indefinite detention part of the NDAA????

  8. Charlie says:

    Gotta be defense contractor lobbyist who wrote indefinite detention part of the NDAA, right???

  9. Avg Joe says:

    say welcome back comrade stalin, hitler,pol pot..gestapo ..we just combine the names and they spell tsa…the new police state….give up your rights or we will detain you forever……

  10. Genevive says:

    Does this TSA search extend to me when I’m walking through Union Station to get to the Red Line (the subway)? What about Metrolink? I might actually stand up and protest this, even if I was arrested. Unless I’m getting off an interstate Amtrak train (the crossing of state lines gives the Feds certain privileges) at Union Station, there’s no reason to search me or my bags. The Sheriffs Dept. at least gives advance warning about security checkpoints inside the MTA subway terminals – you have the option of turning back and not entering the terminal if you don’t consent to be wand-searched and possibly have your bags opened.

  11. Rosco1776 says:

    Only one man running for president will do everything in his power to end the gestapo!!

    Ron Paul 2012 or BU$T !!

  12. I never had a problem with TSA.
    In fact, they have been very friendly with me.
    I have never seen them harass a person ever.
    I travel a lot.
    They are there for our safety.
    Take away TSA and sooner or later, there will be a major problem.

    George Vreeland Hill

  13. Vik says:

    Just wait and next year they are going to be searching your house to make sure you are feeling safe.

  14. cj chan says:

    we need to stop this now. there is no reason for more police state tsa invasions. obama needs to be stiopped.

  15. angie felangie says:

    why are they going to stop all movement around the countries to their 600 fema camps?

  16. angie felangie says:

    fyi when you go to Italy they guard the entire airport with machine guns consider yourself lucky….aren’t they meant to protect the general public I would rather things be safe for everyone!!!

  17. angie felangie says:

    when you go to Italy they guard the entire airport with machine guns consider yourself lucky….aren’t they meant to protect the general public I would rather things be safe for everyone!!!

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