From AP News via Raw Story (2/01/08)
NYC subways adding dogs, armed officers
Teams of Armed Officers, Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Being Added to New York City Subways
Teams of police officers armed with submachine guns and bomb-sniffing dogs will soon be patrolling the busiest parts of New York City subways as part of a major increase in regional security funding.
The subway initiative is one use of the $151.2 million in new grant money from the Department of Homeland Security to transit systems in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Last year, they received $98 million.
Explaining the increase, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said law enforcement officials in the three states "have to deal with vulnerabilities and threats in this region that are really second to none."
New York's subways have long been considered a potential terror target; police already randomly check riders' bags, and the tunnels and ventilation systems are searched for explosives. Hidden cameras register any suspicious action.
Officials said the daily patrols will begin within three weeks. The teams of six police and a dog will circulate on platforms and trains, focusing on busy stations such as Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and Herald Square."You'll see officers with automatic weapons, you will see additional bomb-sniffing dogs funded by this program," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said after the news conference with Chertoff and Gov. Eliot Spitzer where the security grants were announced.
Similar police units have patrolled above ground at landmarks such as Wall Street and the Empire State Building as part of the New York Police Department's security efforts since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Chertoff said the new security grants would be divided to address the most significant vulnerabilities, as identified by federal and regional law-enforcement and anti-terrorism authorities.
Their collaboration to pinpoint security risks and take action is "a model for the entire country," Chertoff said.
Officials didn't specify how much of the new grant money would fund the subway initiative.
How many people will be attacked and killed now because they didn't "look right" or didn't hear the order to "stop" or didn't have their identification papers when ordered to produce them? How many citizens will now go about their day in mortal fear that they will come to the attention of a police officer toting a submachine gun, or be standing in the line of fire of some deaf guy who keeps on walking, unaware he is about to be shot to protect the HOMELAND?
This is what Homeland Security is all about--spreading fear and terrorizing the population into cowed silence.
Our government has become exactly what we have been taught to fear most--terrorists who prey on the innocent.