Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday and an apparent video threat from the Islamic State to D.C., Metro says it’s shoring up security.
Metro informs riders via a release that Metro Transit Police “increased patrols systemwide” as of Friday evening, and that the patrols “will continue for an unspecified period of time.” The release also notes “additional K9 [dog] sweeps” from MTPD’s more than 20 K9 teams as well as “expanded random explosives screening” at station entrances. That means security officers may search through passengers’ bags and packages.
The agency says it’s taking additional steps that it won’t currently disclose: “MTPD and its local and federal law enforcement partners have implemented several other countermeasures that are not visible to the traveling public.” Between sworn officers, security special police, and civilian personnel, MTPD has a staff greater than 600 people, and has jurisdiction throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Chief Ronald Pavlik will give further remarks about security at 3:30 p.m. today at the Gallery Place Metrorail station.
Update 3:08 p.m.: Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel clarifies in an email to City Desk that the explosive screening is “non-invasive”: “The bag does not get opened unless explosive/residue is detected in the first round of screening,” he writes.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery