Metro Installing Cameras in Rail Cars, Buses

Transit agency expects cameras to help with crowd control

By Mike Tunison
|  Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009  |  Updated 6:43 PM EDT
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Surveillance Cameras Keep Eye on Metro Riders

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Is Big Brother watching you board the train?

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Surveillance Cameras Keep Eye on Metro Riders

The Department of Homeland Security gives millions to Metro for surveillance cameras and other security upgrades.
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Metro may not be ensuring that all the rail cars in its system are entirely up to snuff, but it is attempting to make sure that they are at least well monitored.

The agency's governing board voted to accept $27.8 million in federal grants from the Department of Homeland Security for the cameras. About $7.1 million of that will go toward cameras to be installed in rail cars while the remainder will fund additional cameras in buses, Metro stations and ventilation shafts.

Officials declined to say when the cameras would be installed or where in the train they would be located. Metro briefly had cameras in some trains during the summer of 2006 to gauge how riders would react to experimental designs and technology.

Metro Transit Police Deputy Chief Jeff Delinski told The Washington Post that the cameras are primarily for crowd control, even if the funding comes from a security agency. Because nothing moves a crowd along as smoothly as reviewing footage of the crowd after it has already dispersed.

"Preparation is key to successful terrorist attacks," said Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Sara Kuban. "Cameras on board trains enable real-time monitoring to detect behaviors or items of potential concern and guide the actions of law enforcement or security personnel to address or investigate the matter."

Interesting. Which part of that was about crowd control, again?

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