The same Transportation Security Administration that has caught a lot of grief over its job securing airports may now face its toughest crowd: New York City subway riders. The TSA has offered 12 of its explosive-detection workers to assist the NYPD in bag searches.
While the searches themselves are controversial, New Yorkers we asked said they like the idea of getting free assistance.
With fewer people flying, there is less demand for airport security. And more demand for resources in a city that faces a reduction in its police force.
If you encounter a checkpoint carrying a big backpack or suitcase or even a stuffed tote bag you are more likely to be searched. You can refuse, but you’ll have to leave the station. You face arrest if you try to sneak back in.
The TSA workers will be paired with members of the police department. Their job: To check baggage for traces of explosives.
I noticed them this morning at the 42nd Street Port Authority subway entrance. There appeared to be 2 or 3 TSA agents and several officers. Note in the video above all the paramilitary they show. That is not what you see all the time but it certainly is common. And how they fail to mention that when you refuse a search, yes you have to leave that entrance, but you may walk to the next station or an alternate entrance without harassment.
And I love the part in the story about how the city has cut police and there are less people flying so to keep up the level of the police state they are moving TSA to the subways (and likely the buses).