Police to begin screening CTA passengers bags for explosives

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Next time you ride a CTA train,  you could have your bags screened by Chicago Police.

It's part of Chicago's ongoing efforts to combat terrorism.

Starting November 3, police will start screening CTA rail passenger bags for explosives.

A special detail of up to six officers will randomly pull aside passengers to swab their bags and run the swab through a machine called a mobile threat detector.

The results can be seen in seconds.

The police teams will be stationed outside of turnstiles at transit stations, asking random passengers if they are willing to submit to screening.

If a passenger declines, they could be denied entry and could be arrested under the officer's discretion.




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  • Carol Levin Pfeiffer

    And what good will this do? you realize how many people ride the subway daily in Chocago? there’s only a few people they can grab a day to check out what they are catrying. So if they ate psychic that would help

  • Adrian

    Are they trained like TSA agents? If so, let the hard groping begin! Also, will they keep statistics on the different ethnicities they search? That way, we can be sure that there would no racial/cultural profiling… Besides, it isn’t like those that refuse the search can just go the next stop and board in the train (especially in downtown Chicago).

  • andre

    Completely useless. Another calculated measure to scare us into giving up even more freedoms. The threat of terror or feigned terror causes the populous to allow the government to “do whatever it takes” to keep us safe. Since 911 we have continuously given up more and more freedom. This measure allows them to check your carry bag only, what about the shoe bombers, the underwear bomber or the guy that has a bomb strapped to his chest? Their test does not check the actual person. That being said, I bet you they will start busting pple with a little weed or any drug – then they can say “thats alright, we are making sure the drug cartels that fund terrorism are stopped” or blocked when in reality it is simply delayed. Nothing more than a speed bump in “the war against drugs”. I see nothing good coming from this. So I guess we will sit back and wait for the drug arrests made on public transport to spike. Sad sad sad.

    • o

      oh god, it’s MARTIAL. get a grip. “martial law: usually imposed temporarily when the government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively.
      In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, *****which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval******. (wiki)”

      please calm down. dont stock up on ammunition just yet, crazy. genuinely is for our own good. there are too many people out there willing to kill and maim innocents in the name of their insanity. opening your bag for a moment isnt an invasion of your PERSONAL FREEDOMS. its a measure of safety, and if this wasnt done, and an incident were to occur where people died, it would be demanded.

      • kyle

        You must not understand any history at all, as if history of governmental tyrannies never existed and color of law governments that use presumption of guilty, as their excuse for protecting the common good. Have you no understanding of the psychological implications for small dubious acts like this do incrementally on a societies that is suppose to be free. Stop waving your Chinese made in America Flag and keep accepting the doublespeak of,”its only for your protection, we’re the government and we love you and care for your protection, we don’t want to intrude in your lives but sometimes we have to find the boogieman in your backpack because we don’t trust you, we just love you.. YaY

  • misterdamage

    Meanwhile in Australia, city governments are trying to punish people for *not* using mass transit. Big government, it will get you coming *and* going.

  • kyle

    i like the end of the article, if you decline, you could be detained and arrested, even if it is your constitutional right to not consent to a unreasonable search. everyone should bring the fith amendment when they are ask to get searched..
    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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    • Jason Holowka

      The story is incomplete. It should of said, If you do not allow the search you will be denied entry and if you still try to enter AFTER being denied, then you will be subjected to possible arrest.

  • mary

    Why in the hell wouldn’t they just use trained bomb dogs instead?
    It wouldn’t slow down passengers, the dogs could sniff out bomb residue on ANY bag instead of every random nth bag, and the CTA wouldn’t be idiotically announcing its intentions (because if you really DID have a bomb, wouldn’t you see the “signs announcing the presence of screeners” and just go to another damn station?)

    • Jason Holowka

      The problem with using dogs to sniff everyone is they open themselves up for a class action lawsuit and money spent defending said lawsuit for violating everyones 4th amendment right and operating outside the Law. However, and per many Supreme Court rulings dealing with DUI checkpoints and the like, if they do it randomly, i.e. every 3rd, 5th, 10th person to keep out discrimination, it is allowed.