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Federal prosecutors are reviewing whether to pursue charges against an Arvada woman who refused to show identification to federal police while riding an RTD bus through the Federal Center in Lakewood.
Deborah Davis, 50, was ticketed for two petty offenses Sept. 26 by officers who commonly board the RTD bus as it passes through the Federal Center and ask passengers for identification.
During the Thanksgiving weekend, an activist who has helped publicize other challenges to government ID requirements posted a Web site about the case, which he said had logged more than 1.5 million visitors by lunchtime Monday.
"The petty offense ticket was issued by police on the scene," Colorado U.S. attorney's spokesman Jeff Dorschner said Monday. "The status of the matter is now under review."
The Federal Protective Service in Colorado referred inquiries to Carl Rusnok of Dallas, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the federal police. Both are part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Rusnok said the federal officers in Colorado told him the policy of checking the IDs of bus passengers and others entering the Federal Center began shortly after the April 1995 terrorist bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.
"It's one of the multiple forms of security," Rusnok said. "The identification is one means of making sure that, whoever comes on base, that you know that they are who they say they are.
"There are a variety of other means that bad people could take to circumvent that, but that's why there are multiple layers of security," he said.
Between 7,000 and 8,000 people work at the Federal Center in Lakewood and between 2,000 and 2,500 people visit it every day, Rusnok said.
"Security to protect the employees and the visitors is a high priority," Rusnok said.
RTD spokesman Scott Reed said federal guards only check IDs of bus passengers when the Federal Center is on "heightened alert," which may not be known to the general public.
"It's periodic," Reed said.
"That is something we don't control," Reed said. "It is Federal Center property, and the federal security controls the ID-checking process. We try to cooperate as best we can and inform the public that this will occur."
"It's one of the multiple forms of security," Rusnok said. "The identification is one means of making sure that, whoever comes on base, that you know that they are who they say they are