Tuesday, April 06, 2004


There have been quite a few articles in recent days regarding safety on SEPTA.

On Saturday, the Inquirer ran an article on how SEPTA and NJ Transit were attempting to improve security on their respective rail systems, in spite of restrictions on how Homeland Security funding can be spent. Under the current guidelines, transit agencies can not hire police with this special (and very limited) funding, but can only use that funding for capital upgrades and/or training.

Also on Saturday, the Daily News reported that SEPTA would spend most of it's $6 million Homeland Security allottment for improving the communications system underground. It also noted this interesting statement from SEPTA's Minister of Mis-Information Richard Maloney:

"We have a huge open [transit] system and that provides extreme vulnerability," Maloney said. "As we deal with a very serious budget crisis one of the areas we will not cut is funding for transit security."

A SEPTA station worker, who did not want to give his name, said yesterday that his bosses were doing a good job protecting passengers, citing Thursday's quick response of stopping regional rail service due to a computer-bag accidentally left at Market Street station.

But the worker said more transit officers are needed for the combined effort of watching over criminals who lurk throughout stations at night and spotting suspicious packages.

Maloney said that due to budget problems, no new transit police will be added in the near future.
Daily News

So that means that the 23 officers who were sworn in at the February SEPTA Board "rubber-stamp" session were only replacing officers who left the force?

In today's Daily News, however, SEPTA did announce that they would be adding two dogs to its K-9 unit for the purposes of detecting potential bombs.

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