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Friday, September 30, 2022

DHS Chief Discusses Nationwide Rail Security Efforts at DC’s Union Station

DHS Chief Discusses Nationwide Rail Security Efforts at DC’s Union Station Homeland Security Today“Rail safety is a shared endeavor between federal, state and local authorities, as well as the rail industry itself,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Jeh Johnson said during a tour of DHS rail security efforts at Washington, DC’s Union Station.

“An important part of rail safety is on display here today,” he stated.

“Here at Washington, DC’s Union Station, and at rail stations across the country, we are participating in Operation RAILSAFE,” Johnson said, explaining that, “Operation RAILSAFE is a nationwide initiative started by the Amtrak Police Department, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department, the New York City Police Department and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that provides enhanced, visible law enforcement and security presence at train stations and along trains on selected high volume travel days.”

The event was the  fifth Operation RAILSAFE event this year.

DHS Chief Discusses Nationwide Rail Security Efforts at DC’s Union Station Homeland Security Today“At Union Station today, like other stations across the country, you see increased uniform patrols, explosive detection sweeps and random bag inspections,” Johnson said. “You’ll see patrols by TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams or VIPR Teams, which are specialized teams with Federal Air Marshals, Behavior Detection Officers and explosives experts. You’ll also see Amtrak’s Canine Explosive Detection Teams as well.”

Johnson assured he has “great confidence in the safety of rail travel. I’m a big fan of rail travel. It is my favorite way to go home to New Jersey. I am boarding the Acela right after this press conference to do that. As I have said previously, as a native New Yorker, I have ridden almost every single subway line in the city of New York. My great-grandfather was a Pullman porter with the Pennsylvania railroad for 44 years, from 1908-1952, and a member of Philip Randolph’s union.”

Johnson encouraged “all Americans to use public transportationby land, sea and air” knowing “that your Department of Homeland Security and our partners are hard at work to be sure that that’s the case.”

Photo top: Members from Amtrak police, TSA and local law enforcement agencies participate in Operation RAILSAFE at Washington, DC’s Union Station. During Operation RAILSAFE, counterterrorism assets conducted explosive detection sweeps, random bag inspections and patrols by TSA’s Visible Intermodal Protection and Response teams during high volume travel days to highlight passenger rail systems security. Official DHS photo by Barry Bahler.

Photo bottom: DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson participates in a media availability at Washington, DC’s Union Station with TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger and Amtrak Chief of Police Polly Hanson to highlight safety and security efforts related to the nation’s passenger rail system. Photo credit: Barry Bahler, DHS.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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