Skip to comments.Amtrak police chief bars Transportation Security Administration from some security operations
Posted on 03/04/2011 6:44:57 AM PST by CedarDave
WASHINGTON In late February, the Transportation Security Administration took over the Amtrak station in Savannah, Ga., and thoroughly searched every person who entered. None of the passengers got into trouble, but the TSA certainly did big time.
Amtrak Police Chief John OConnor said he first thought a blog posting about the incident was a joke. When he discovered that the TSAs VIPR team did at least some of what the blog said, he was livid. He ordered the VIPR teams off Amtrak property, at least until a firm agreement can be drawn up to prevent the TSA from taking actions that the chief said were illegal and clearly contrary to Amtrak policy.
When I saw it, I didnt believe it was real, OConnor said. When it developed that the posting on an anti-TSA blog was not a joke, I hit the ceiling.
OConnor said the TSA VIPR teams have no right to do more than what Amtrak police do occasionally, which has produced few if any protests and which OConnor said is clearly within the law and the Constitution. More than a thousand times, Amtrak teams (sometimes including VIPR) have performed security screenings at Amtrak stations. These screenings are only occasional and random, and inspect the bags of only about one in 10 passengers. There is no wanding of passengers and no sterile area. OConnor said the TSA violated every one of these rules.
A posting in late February to the Transportation Security Administrations blog, which serves as a public relations tool of the TSA, tried to explain why TSA agents took over the Amtrak station in Savannah. But OConnor said the facts as posted on the TSA blog were incorrect. ...
A TSA spokesman said he could not elaborate on the blog posting.
(Excerpt) Read more at cs.trains.com ...
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Has anybody heard our GOP leaders or any new GOP freshmen complaining about TSA abuse? Let me answer that question. “NO”
There weren’t searching people who entered the station, they were searching people who were leaving. Disgusting.
Amtrak is struggling as it is to get passengers. They did enjoy an upsurge AFTER the TSA installed new machinery at airports and started more pat downs.
I wonder if TSA is trying to make people go back into airports?
Who in their right mind would give this miscreants a name like that, know that they will internalize it and become "the VIPERS ... and you bastards better watch out."
A group of us will be taking Amtrak in July on our way to Philmont Scout Ranch. I’m hoping the Amtrak Police Chief doesn’t surrender any authority to these jackbooted thugs [TSA].
It’ll be my first time riding with Amtrak and I’m looking forward to it. Used to ride the P.R.R. often in the Canal Zone and enjoyed it.
But this TSA business is BS. I’ll be on the lookout for it during our trip to Philmont. I will do whatever possible to avoid it and not have the boys subjected to this invasion of privacy by gov’t goons.
Be careful, the bears aren’t always in the woods!
Have fun. It’s a great trip on Amtrak, especially in NM and north of ABQ. North of ABQ you go through the depressed Indian pueblos alongside the track (the NM Rail Runner commuter train takes the same route and prohibits photography through the windows citing cultural sensitivity; don’t know if Amtrak tries the same — a clear violation of free speech.)
Just after you leave Lamy station, you go through short deep Apache Canyon with the cars only a few feet from either wall and then climb up to Glorieta pass at 7,421 feet the second highest pass on Amtrak’s Transcon route (Raton pass is the highest at 7,588 feet but if from CA you will get off before then.)
VIPER is the acronym for TSA’s “Visible Intermodal Protection and Response” team — definitely intended to intimidate the sheeple.
Anyone know what the “anti-TSA blog” was where this was first reported? Not FR, I would imagine.
Don’t know if this is the one you want, but it has nine pages of comments on the incident:
“Who in their right mind would give this miscreants a name like that, know that they will internalize it and become “the VIPERS ... and you bastards better watch out.” “
Similar mindset to a president who names his fund-raising company ‘ofay’.
I don’t know much about Mr O’Connor, but this makes me want to take AMTRAC
TSA - Obama’s private Gestapo