After weeks of speculations, Metro Transit Police advised its customers today that they would start conducting random inspections of carry-on items, as part of what they call “the continuously changing law enforcement programs designed to keep the system safe”.
College Park Metro station was one of the two stations that Metro decided to start its bag search program.
And there is no exceptions to this rule, as the advisory says: “Customers who encounter a baggage checkpoint at a station entrance may choose not to enter the station if they would prefer not to submit their carry-ons for inspection.”
The Greater Greater Washington reports a long list of reasons why these searches are bad and unncessary. “People have been objecting to these random bag checks on a variety of grounds. The ACLU says that they infringe on civil liberties. Dr. Gridlock disputed the argument that they are a “necessary evil,” writing that “To be a necessary evil, a thing must be both necessary and evil,” and that this policy is only the latter, not the former. Even Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton thinks they’re ineffective.” – reported today in its blog that drew a slew of comments from its readers.
TBD reports the screenings will be completely random and they’ll be done inside stations before passengers have swiped their farecards. Riders who have carry-on items may be asked to come over to a table where transit officers and perhaps agents with the federal Transportation Security Administration are stationed. At that point, a cloth-like swab will be run over the bag and placed into the ionization machine that detects explosives, and an explosives dog may also inspect the bag.