L.A. County Sheriff’s Checking Bags at Union Station

Alert reader and commenter "M" brings news that Metro has joined its partner agency Metrolink as a transit agency that randomly searches the bags of its passengers.

I’m not sure if anyone else has alerted you to this, but this morning
the sheriffs were doing bag inspections when entering the Gold Line at
Union Station. This is the first time I’ve seen this inspection happen
on the Gold Line (I know it’s happened with the Metrolink trains in the
past). Do you know if the same people that provided money for the
Metrolink train inspections are giving money for the Gold Line as well?

According to Metro staff, the searches were completed by the L.A. County Sherriff’s Office.  The sheriff’s have a security contract with Metro and have been conducting these searches since March to Keep Us Safe from Terrorists.  Staff also repeatedly mentioned that these searches are legal, which appears to be true.

When Metrolink announced it was going to begin randomly searching passengers’ belongings last summer, there was a firestorm of protest.  After the horrific crash last September, the agency came under fire for spending money Keeping Us Safe from Terrorists instead of improving rail safety.

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(Dana Gabbard is a Board Member of the Southern California Transit Advocates and an occasional contributor to Streetsblog.  When he opines, he does so on behalf of himself as a long-standing transit watcher.  Gabbard has written about the fare gate issue several times since Metro first proposed putting up gates in 2008 after years of […]