posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 04:47 PM
A new program puts TSA agents and police on the bus
A new program in Houston will place undercover TSA agents and police officers on buses whose job it will be to perform bag searches, watch for
“suspicious activity” and interrogate passengers in order to ‘curb crime and terrorism’.
Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee unveiled the program, labeled Bus Safe, during a press conference on Friday. According to a Metropolitan
Transit Authority of Houston (METRO) press release, agencies involved in the scheme will, “ride buses, perform random bag checks, and conduct K-9
sweeps, as well as place 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 focus on overall safety measures noted above, representatives with the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) will also be on hand, lending their counter-terrorism expertise and support during the exercise,” states the press release.
“If you think you’re going to be a bad actor on buses, get ready. You are going to have a short-lived time frame,” Jackson Lee said during the
press conference. The Congresswoman is a staunch advocate of the TSA, having recently chastised the passage of a new law that allows airports to evict
TSA agents and replace them with private screeners by claiming it would lead to a new 9/11-style attack.
According to KPRC 2 News, METRO refused to disclose on what dates or bus routes the program would be operational. As well as TSA agents, police
officers from the Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 7 will be involved.
According to Phillip Levine of the Houston Free Thinkers blog, shortly after Lee gave her press conference the operation went straight into effect,
with DHS and Metro Police officers questioning passengers who were exiting buses about their destinations and their reasons for riding the bus.
“When I arrived at Wheeler I got off the stage and instantly noticed the massive police presence. The police presence consisted of DHS, metro
police, HPD, TSA, and Harris county police officers. They were going on to buses searching and stopping people for questions. Apparently Sheila
Jackson Lee was there pushing for more security like what I was viewing. I asked the TSA agent if there was gonna be a bigger presence of metro or
TSA. He said both,” Levine said in an email.