“looks like they’re about to set up TSA-style security experiment at GA Ave/Petworth station”


A reader tweets us:

“@PoPville looks like they’re about to set up TSA-style security experiment at GA Ave/Petworth station. Know anything of this?”

“10am on a Tues seems less than ideal to catch bad guys, I get doing it not during rush but like 7-close seems be better”

Ed. Note: Metro Transit Police have been doing random searches since at least 2008. We also spoke about random inspections in 2010and most recently in 2014.

23 Comment

  • When I was getting off the metro around 6:30pm last night there were 5-6 police officers standing around the entrance on the Northbound side. They were speaking with a woman and that’s all I saw. This morning there were 5-6 officers headed down the escalator carrying those signs posted in the article. There were another 3-4 already down in the station near the manager’s office. It was definitely the highest police presence I’ve seen in awhile. I think the most I’ve seen are 2-3 officers. Anything happen lately to cause this? I haven’t seen anything at other metro stations I use.

    • I saw that too. Seemed to me she might have been reporting an incident.

      Metro was in fine form yesterday. 8 stops and starts between CoHi and Petworth, escalators broken!

  • my question is 1.. what exactly are they looking for?
    Stolen goods?

    and 2 how efficient is this REALLY?
    i mean anyone wanting to hop on the train with something illegal that walks up to a checkpoint like one of these can easily catch the bus to the next station and what do you know… checkpoint was not efficient

    i just feel like there are far too many access points to metro for the system to be protected by measures such as these

    • They are almost certainly looking for bombs. I have long thought that Metro is an attack waiting to happen. One nut job blows himself up at L’Enfant Plaza, and lots of people die, most of the system is shut down, and DC goes into gridlock. If I can imagine this, I’m sure that people smarter and more diabolical than I am can too. You’re probably right that these inspections aren’t likely to prevent such an attack.

      • Further, any serious suicide bomber is likely prepared to detonate their device at any moment, so it’s quite likely that an attempt to do a search on such a person would result in a lethal explosion, unless they were able to shoot this bomber beforehand. Having said that, if someone were to be involved with such ruthless evil, the ongoing presence of unpredictable, random searches could serve as a deterrent to the potential evildoer. Commuter buses would be a superior target, much more likely to lead to success for such operations.

      • I agree. I grew up in Paris and lived through two rounds of attacks on the transit system. More recently of course, there’s been London and Madrid. In any event, bag searches are NOT how these systems handle this threat.

  • The Editor’s Note says it all. I do remember being a bit bemused the first time I saw them set up shop in Georgia Ave soooo… welcome to Petworth, new neighbor!

    • I’m the one that sent this in and had heard about random searches but in my 4 years of living off Sherman Circle and using the Petworth Station daily (99% of time from 8-10am and 6-8pm M-F)–I’ve NEVER seen this happen in person-maybe I’ve just been lucky to miss metro security show theatre. The amount of personnel (9-10 uniformed officers of one kind or another) and timing to do this sort of thing seemed more odd than anything.

  • How hard would it be for someone with ill intent to see the security check point and just go to a different metro station? This is pure theater.

  • At least the presence of Metro Transit Police in the station should probably stop (albeit temporarily) people smoking at the bottom of the escalators, people walking through the emergency exit gate who aren’t eligible, etc.

  • Always remember, boys and girls, that the violation of your rights is for your safety. If you do not waive your rights, then you may not use “public” transit.

  • Can we have weed on us under the new law–I mean, is Metro considered federal property?

  • I assumed the increasing amount of cops I’ve been seeing here were due to the almost-complete Dunkin Donuts (*sorry, I just had to!)
    But seriously, ugh. I would pay a lot of money for evidence that this sort of thing actually does anything to protect anyone. I am highly skeptical.

  • They were all set up and doing searches this morning at Columbia Heights metro at 8 am . I bet they moved their operation to Petworth when they were done there.

  • Firecub1

    I’m happy they are doing this, I hope it turns out to be successful!

    • Let me go ahead and write a new US Constitution that applies only to you. As a bonus, it will contain no fourth amendment! Weee!

  • Opt out. Every time. This is America. With rights comes the responsibility to stand up for those rights.

    Get a warrant, or I’m leaving.

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