TSA spreading its wings

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by guest in the west, Aug 6, 2013.

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  1. Aug 6, 2013 #1
    From The New York Times

    August 5, 2013
    T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security By RON NIXONWASHINGTON — As hundreds of commuters emerged from Amtrak and commuter trains at Union Station on a recent morning, an armed squad of men and women dressed in bulletproof vests made their way through the crowds.

    The squad was not with the Washington police department or Amtrak’s police force, but was one of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response squads — VIPR teams for short — assigned to perform random security sweeps to prevent terrorist attacks at transportation hubs across the United States.

    “The T.S.A., huh,” said Donald Neubauer of Greenville, Ohio, as he walked past the squad. “I thought they were just at the airports.”

    link to full article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/us/tsa-expands-duties-beyond-airport-security.html?hp&_r=0
     
  2. Aug 6, 2013 #2

    rrdude

    rrdude

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    IMHO, it's all about protecting YOU (TSA) turf, increasing in size, (# of emp), and making sure your employees are NOTICED, the bigger your staff, the bigger your budget, the harder it is to kill.........
     
  3. Aug 6, 2013 #3

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

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    I'm guessing its because of the "hightened threat" overseas. I've heard PHL (airport) has beefed up security with more random car "searches" (dogs sniffing for bombs).
     
  4. Aug 6, 2013 #4

    CelticWhisper

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    I don't like this at all. I feel much less safe anywhere TSA is present and this is making me feel very unsafe about my upcoming trip to PVD. I plan on hiding out in the Metro/ClubAcela lounges as much as possible as JoeBas has stated that boarding from those areas tends to get one around any Terrorists Searching Americans activity, but I'm prepared to abandon rail for road just the same way as I abandoned air for rail if TSA becomes a regular part of the Amtrak travel experience.

    I already wrote to APD and Amtrak Customer Relations about this and got a call from the Chicago area deputy chief of police (Dan Dugan) about it. I could tell that he thought more highly of the bird droppings he wiped off his shoe that morning than he did of TSA, but couldn't come out and say it. I wonder how much political pressure is being put on APD to cooperate with these thuggish clerks.
     
  5. Aug 6, 2013 #5

    BuzzKillington

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    Is the TSA really that bad? I fly frequently and it rarely takes me over 5-10 minutes to completely get through security. All you do is empty your pockets, take off your shoes, and walk through a metal detector. I've never had a horror story. If you have nothing in your pockets, they don't even touch you. Everyone just has a predisposed notion in their head that they are out to get you. If I had a lot more time and a bigger bank account, I'd love to take Amtrak more, but TSA is hardly a reason to abandon flying (or Amtrak) altogether.
     
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  6. Aug 6, 2013 #6

    CelticWhisper

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    It's reason enough for me. My problem with TSA is that I'm put in a situation I don't control, where complete strangers have the final say over whether another complete stranger will make uninvited physical contact with me. Strangers do not touch me, ever.

    Add to that their stupid plexiglas holding pens, shouting, intimidation and claims that "Once you start the screening process you have to complete it", where completion includes any physical contact they determine they want to make, and yes, TSA is definitely reason enough for me to abandon any mode of transportation they infest.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2013 #7

    Ted Bell

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    The TSA is precisely the reason I have abandoned air travel for trains instead. A TSA presence at Amtrak stations will absolutely put me back in my car.
     
  8. Aug 6, 2013 #8

    afigg

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    The VIPR inspections are a pain in the rear end and really a waste of taxpayer money. Security at the airport is one thing because there is a reason for it and there are established security checkpoint systems and procedures. These random spotchecks of a vast ground transportation system accomplish little except to aggravate people. If I'm unlucky enough to encounter one, I will go through it, but not as satisfied taxpayer.
    The VIPR program is now up to a $100 million a year and 37 teams? Where does it stop?
     
  9. Aug 6, 2013 #9

    PRR 60

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    No, TSA is not that bad, but if people want to think so and ride Amtrak instead, then I'm fine with that. It meand there are fewer clueless people fouling up the screening with metal in pockets, belts on, etc.

    With minimal prep, getting through security at an Airport is less hassle than boarding an Amtrak train at NYP or WAS. Much less.
     
  10. Aug 6, 2013 #10

    tonys96

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    I have several reasons for not liking flying. TSA is just one of them, and that is probably just because I do not fly often and am not aware of the rules/procedures. Once I wore lace up shoes-learned not to do that again, once I had a belt on-learned again, still am not totally aware of carry on liquid rules, or what is allowed to be checked through....on upcoming trip, flying is part of the trip and g/f wants to take some vodka (so she will have it on the train)...I did not know you could check that through!

    I do not LIKE the TSA circus....but can tolerate it, I suppose.....if I have to.
     
  11. Aug 6, 2013 #11

    Linda T

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    As long as it doesn't include groping or the nude-o-scope I'm fine with TSA. They can use metal detectors, x-ray my purse and bags, etc., (I go through that everytime I enter my local courthouse), but like others have said no strangers have the right to touch me (and I'll add, look at me nude) under the assumption that I might be doing something wrong. Innocent till proven guilty used to be commonplace in America, now it's guilty until proven innocent. Funny I'm far more afraid of TSA (stripping us of our rights, and making us miss trains) than I am of the actual terrorists.
     
  12. Aug 6, 2013 #12

    BuzzKillington

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    I like Amtrak... I really do. Like I said, if I had more time and money, I would ride them more. But if I limited time to take trips and the choice is a 2 hour flight or a 19 hour Amtrak trip, I'll walk through the TSA lines. I've never had anyone act inappropriately and if you empty your pockets, you can be through in 10 seconds. If I knew they were doing more security on Amtrak trains, it wouldn't deter me in the least. Just one of the things in life you put up with. We all wish security wasn't necessary, but if they can successfully save lives, it's probably for the best.
     
  13. Aug 6, 2013 #13

    WinNix

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    Those who willingly sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    As a matter of principle (and my rights), stay away from me unless you have reasonable suspicion I've done wrong. And, since I am a law-abiding citizen, I expect not to be bullied in any way. The TSA should stick to airports.
     
  14. Aug 6, 2013 #14

    boxcarsyix

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    What concerns me is the fact that they were armed and wearing bulletproof vests. IIRC TSA agents in airports wear neither. The constant presence of police forces in armor makes me feel less safe. If they need that sort of protection amoung amtrak passengers, are we at more risk? Are the vests for protection or intimidation? :(
     
  15. Aug 6, 2013 #15

    cpamtfan

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    Honestly TSA isn't that bad. Does that mean it'd be fine at a train station? Maybe not, but at the same time Amtrak is always an open target, so more security isn't the worst thing in the world. Of course I don't think there will ever be a "true" security screening area at a train station like New York Penn just because you have commuter rail lines and so many passages, so I don't see a threat of any security lines YET..
     
  16. Aug 6, 2013 #16

    leemell

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    If you really believe that, then you don't know much about he spectrum of terrorists.
     
  17. Aug 6, 2013 #17

    Cooley47

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    Definitely would agree it's with the stuff happening overseas. While they say "we have nothing to worry about here," I think it's a load of BS as always. Doesn't make me afraid to travel still, I figure if something happens, it's going to happen. I after all live right outside of Washington,D.C., so if someone is going to go before you all, it's me. Haha, well, trying to look at that in the best way possible I suppose.
     
  18. Aug 6, 2013 #18

    guest

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    Interestingly, that quote works both ways: Those who willingly sacrifice security for liberty deserve neither.

    I don't generally fear law enforcement, be it local, state, or national, because I, too am law-abiding. I have never been bullied by the police in any significant way, and working for Amtrak for 8 years as well as flying on a regular basis, the only people I have seen getting extra scrutiny are those who act defensively when asked innocuous questions.

    The "T" in TSA stands for transportation. That includes flying, driving, sailing, and riding the rails. I don't like the airport experience, but half of that I have realized is due to lazy airport operations and their unwillingness to properly design and staff the security checkpoints (if they did, as they do in Europe, it wouldn't be half the hassle we face today).
     
  19. Aug 6, 2013 #19

    SP&S

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    My personal name for the TSA is the FUD Squad as they spread Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.
     
  20. Aug 6, 2013 #20

    JayPea

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    I'm finding in my own experience that the TSA procedures are less intrusive than they used to be. For some reason it has always been a hassle getting through security at little ole Spokane. Yesterday I was in and out of the TSA circus act in less than five minutes, granting that Spokane at 4:30 AM isn't exactly bustling. I would much rather take the train rather than fly--- but would rather fly than stay home. I don't like the TSA hassle but don't want it to keep from traveling either. It simply is impractical for me to travel everywhere by train. I always maintain for me the biggest hassle with flying is enduring those who tell me how stupid I am for flying. :rolleyes:
     
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  21. Aug 6, 2013 #21

    Bob Dylan

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    Down here well call them "(T)housands (S)tand (A)round!" :help:
     
  22. Aug 6, 2013 #22

    tonys96

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    But if they miss one and a plane gets bombed or such...then they will be raked over the coals for not being thorough enough and costing lives.... :blink:
     
  23. Aug 6, 2013 #23

    me_little_me

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    “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”― Benjamin Franklin
     
  24. Aug 6, 2013 #24

    Ispolkom

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    As long as there are grade crossings, searching passengers at a train station is silly.
     
  25. Aug 6, 2013 #25

    jis

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    I completely agree with PRR. I have actually pretty much given up traveling by Coach on Amtrak LD trains due to my antipathy towards the process and the lack of control over where I get to sit for the next day or two. :) Amtrak crews seem to take extra pleasure in harassing unassuming single males for some reason. But then Sleeper is much more fun anyway, so there. :p

    These days getting through a TSA checkpoint usually takes at most 15 mins if the airport is not equipped with Pre-Check, and about 2 minutes if it is. And I agree the more that people with an attitude towards the TSA stay away from airports, the better it is for the rest of us too. :p
     
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