Los Angeles' subway will become the first mass transit system in the US to install body scanners that screen passengers for weapons and explosives, officials said.
The deployment of the portable scanners, which project waves to do full-body said the Wiggins, who runs the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's law enforcement division.
The machines scan for metallic and non-metallic objects on a person's body, can detect suspicious items from 9m away more than 2,000 passengers per hour.
“We are dealing with persistent threats to our transportation systems in our country,” Pekoske. “Our job is to ensure security in the transportation systems.”
Pekoske and other officials, the new machines, which are purchased from Thruvision, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom .
“We're looking specifically for weapons that have the ability to cause a mass-casualty event,” Wiggins said. “We're looking for explosive vests, we're looking for assault rifles.” We are not necessarily looking for smaller massages that do not have the ability to inflict mass casualties. “
In addition to the Thruvision scanners, the agency is also planning to purchase other body scanners – which resemble white television cameras on tripods – that have the ability to move around and hone in on specific people and angles, Wiggins said.
“We really need to be effective and we need the ability to have a fixed field of view, but we also need to be able to move that field of view as necessary, “Wiggins said. “Deploying these technologies together gives us that accuracy and minimizes any delays.”
Wiggins would not say how many of the machines were being purchased, but said they would be out in the subway stations in the “coming months.” Employees and police officers first have to be trained on how to use the equipment.
They are subject to body scanner screening. The screening process is voluntary, Wiggins said, but customers can not be screened on the subway.
But some passengers saw the screening as an added layer of security.
“I guess it's a good, precautionary thing,” Andrea Kirsh said, a 22-year-old student from Corvallis, Oregon, who was traveling through Los Angeles' Union Station. “It makes me feel safe. As a civilian, I think we often do not know what to look for. “
Passengers who rode down an escalator to ride the Metro Station were screened as Pekoske and other officials looked on. But after the news conference and media demonstration, the officials packed up the equipment and carted it off.
The TSA tested in New York's Penn Station in Washington, DC, and at a New Jersey Transit station during the 2014 Super Bowl.
In December, a Bangladeshi immigrant injured himself by setting off a crude pipe bomb strapped to his chest in a subway passageway near Times Square in New York City.
Metro has previously tested several different types of body scanners. The pilot program was designed to measure the accuracy and capacity of the portable machines.
About 150,000 passengers ride on the Metro's Red Line daily and the subway system counted more than 112 million rides last year, officials said. – AP