Just hours ago, the Washington, D.C., Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) launched Blue TIDE -- Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort, which included about 50 MTPD officers conducting a major, high-visibility, anti-terrorism show of force at Union Station during yesterday morning’s rush hour.

Amtrak and the New York City Metro both have increased security and tested their programs recently.

In D.C., while there was no current threat to the transit agency or elevated threat level, the presence of the uniformed officers and some with patrol dogs served as a visible reminder to riders and the public that Metro remains vigilant against terrorist activity. Blue TIDE included a number of security sweeps and patrols at the Union Station Metrorail station and Metrobus boarding area outside of Union Station. It also served to remind the public to remain observant while riding Metro and report any suspicious behavior.

Officers from a number of MTPD units participated in the effort, including the anti-terrorism, special response and K-9 explosives detection teams, Metrobus enforcement and criminal investigations divisions, bomb technicians, emergency management, mobile and foot patrols, auto theft unit, bicycle squad, crime prevention and police communications.

“The entire Metro Transit Police Department remains vigilant against terrorist activity, and this show of force is just one method we use to deter terrorism,” Metro Transit Police Deputy Chief Dave Webb was quoted in Security Blog. “We use tactics such as increased surveillance and random, unpredictable patrols of Metrobuses, trains, stations and facilities to keep the Metro system and its riders as secure as possible.”

The Metro Transit Police Department recently formed a new, 20-member, anti-terrorism team that is devoted to deterring a terrorist attack in the Metro system. The unit was made possible by a $9.56 million Transit Security Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Want more information on transportation security? Use the Security Magazine archive at www.securitymagazine.com