Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C., and the vice chairman of American Trucking Associations, told a congressional subcommittee that TSA efforts to secure the nation’s transportation system should be risk-based, according to an ATA press release.
“ATA has followed with some interest TSA's efforts to establish higher visibility operations in surface transportation,” Byrd said of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Preparedness and Response program, which recently conducted security exercises in Georgia and Tennessee, according to the press release. “ATA supports such operations as long as they are based on intelligence or specific risks that require increased vigilance and security on our highways.”
According to the press release, Byrd added that “TSA officials informed industry that the presence of VIPR teams at highway facilities, such as weigh stations, was not due to any specific threat or intelligence.”
“Deploying VIPR resources for such a purpose seems contrary to TSA Assistant Secretary Pistole’s objective of employing risk-based, intelligence driven operations to prevent terrorist attacks and reduce vulnerabilities,” Byrd said. “ATA fully agrees with Mr. Pistole’s approach for deploying agency resources.”
Byrd said that the committee should request the results of these exercises so the public and policymakers can judge their efficiency, the release states.
Byrd’s entire testimony is available here.