Press Release from Houston, Texas METRO System and the TSA
Friday, April 13 was a pilot day for heavy surveillance of bus riders in the Houston METRO system. According to the TSA, such measures can be expected randomly, any day of the year.
The move to “monitor and curtail crime on buses and trains” is just one component of a much larger initiative called BusSafe – a national pilot program created by a peer advisory group of mass transit police chiefs and security directors, and one which METRO’s Police Department is adopting to enhance safety on the system.
MPD, Houston Police Department officers and Harris County Precinct 7 Deputy Constables took part in a synchronized, counter-terrorism exercise on Friday, April 13, focusing on bus routes, bus stops and shelters, and Transit Centers in high traffic areas. The participating agencies rode buses, performed random bag checks, and conducted K-9 sweeps, as well as placed uniformed and plainclothes officers at Transit Centers and rail platforms to detect, prevent and address “latent criminal activity or behavior.”
While local law enforcement agencies focused on overall safety measures noted above, representatives with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were also be on hand, lending their support during the exercise.