02/02/2010

DC police launch terror drills on train, bus systems

The emergency drill is part of a broader effort to bolster security in the rail system

Washington Post

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Metro Transit Police officers with dogs and bomb technicians staged a large-scale security operation in one of the system's busiest stations Tuesday morning, part of a broader effort to bolster security in the rail system.

About 50 officers, including Metro's anti-terrorism unit, criminal investigators, special response teams and other squads, moved into Union Station shortly before 7 a.m. to begin the exercise, which was intended to demonstrate heightened vigilance against a potential terrorist attack.

They lined up along the platforms -- some armed with M-4 rifles and Kevlar body armor, others escorted by bomb-sniffing dogs -- and boarded trains to practice searching for explosives or other dangers, startling some rush-hour passengers. Tuesday's operation is a prelude to a series of much larger emergency exercises -- the biggest ever in the Metro system -- that will involve hundreds of officers from across the region responding to simulated explosions and gunmen in scenarios mirroring mass-casualty terrorist attacks on Madrid commuter trains in 2004, the London Underground in 2005 and in Mumbai in 2008, Metro officials said.

Read full story: Metro launches terrorism drills on train, bus systems

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