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Cities' security measures



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(CNN) -- Authorities in major U.S. cities are increasing security, specifically around subway systems, after the deadly attack on London's transit system. The following are steps taken by officials around the country on Thursday.


  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security raised the national threat level to orange, or high, for the nation's mass transit systems. The heightened alert includes regional and inner-city passenger rail, subways and metropolitan bus systems, said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
  • Amtrak, which runs through nearly every state, has increased its security threat level in response to the London bombings. The security increase involves the deployment of more officers and canine teams, as well as asking the railroad's employees to continue to be vigilant and on alert for suspicious activity. "There has been no specific or credible threat made against Amtrak," according to a statement. "The railroad will continue at this heightened security threat level until we have a better understanding of the events in London."
  • FBI officials said an inter-agency meeting is scheduled to discuss potential actions to beef up security in subway and other mass transit systems in New York, Washington and other major U.S. cities.
  • Although there is no intelligence suggesting any threat, "relevant" federal agencies are making sure additional "caution and precautions" are taken in Washington, New York and other major cities, according to a senior administration official involved in homeland security.
  • Washington

  • Metro Transit Police officials say they have deployed special response teams, armed with machine guns, and bomb-sniffing dogs to patrol Washington's subway stations, trains and buses. Metrorail station restrooms also have been temporarily closed for security reasons. Police are asking riders to report any suspicious activity to authorities.
  • Capitol Hill police will be searching buses, tour mobiles and larger vehicles traveling on the roads leading to the Capitol, and anyone visiting the Capitol grounds will be subject to a "cursory visual inspection," and bags and backpacks could be searched if it is "deemed appropriate," according to police spokesman Michael Lauer said.
  • Pentagon police authorities announced that security measures have been increased throughout the Pentagon building and surrounding parking lots, including the deployment of sniper teams outside the building, additional heavily armed police, bomb-sniffing dogs and other protective measures.
  • There are no increased protective levels at the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado, or at other U.S. military facilities, but officials say they are monitoring developments.
  • New York

  • Authorities have increased police presence at "United Kingdom-related locations," according to NYPD spokesman Jason Post, who did not elaborate.
  • Daily police staging exercises, which normally focus on the city's financial district, have been refocused on the transit system.
  • Although there has been no direct threat to New York City, police have been deployed to secure the underground subway trains and public transportation buses, Post said. Officers from the organized crime unit and narcotics division have been assigned to help with the increased security around the transit system.
  • Post said a "Hercules Team" -- an emergency unit with heavy weaponry -- "is carrying out TOM -- or train order maintenance -- at Bowling Green subway station. This entails two or more officers boarding each car on every train."
  • MTA employees have been instructed to be extra vigilant and to check trains before they leave terminals, said NYC transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges. City and state officials also urged commuters to be more aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious packages immediately.
  • The "first platoon" of NYPD officers -- the group that works the 12 a.m. -7:30 a.m. shift -- is being held indefinitely. The officers will continue to work indefinitely and used for "counter-terrorism and protection of mass transit." A police source said this step adds "thousands of extra officers."
  • Chicago

  • The city has tightened security with particular focus on mass transportation and the central business district, said Mayor Richard M. Daley's office, and is consulting with with federal homeland security officials.
  • Los Angeles

  • A team of officers and deputy sheriffs will patrol every train, and additional patrols will monitor bus routes, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who held a news conference with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton. Villaraigosa said Los Angeles International Airport is on a heightened security alert as well.
  • Boston

  • The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority has increased security on the platforms and trains, and "has been in touch with eight cities to ask them to provide additional personnel in the city of Boston," Gov. Mitt Romney said.
  • New Orleans

  • Security has been increased at the Port of New Orleans, following a conference with the city's homeland security officials. "We've all been alerted ... 'vigilant' is the word of the day," said Cynthia Swain, director of safety and security for the Port of New Orleans in Louisiana. "We're especially cognizant of the fact that this came a day after the announcement of the awarding of the Olympics to London ... and we're a city that's often awarded special events."
  • Dallas

  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit have increased patrols of its bus and light rail systems. Special security measures include sweeps of rail vehicles, more police, special announcements for passengers and coordination with member city police departments, DART said. It's urging passengers to be alert, and to report emergencies, incidents and suspicious people and packages.
  • Atlanta

  • Authorities have beefed up security at the city's MARTA transit stations, federal buildings and other locations as a precaution, according to Atlanta Police Department spokeswoman Sylvia Abernathy. Local law enforcement authorities have been in touch with the FBI throughout the morning, she said.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul

  • Responding to a request from the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, a security plan has been implemented for the Twin Cities' regional bus and rail system, according to Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Transit spokesman Julie Johanson. "Extra precautions are being taken," Johanson said, including the mobilization of extra transit police officers to patrol rail platforms. "They're reminding all train operators and bus drivers to be especially aware for suspicious activities on their routes today and to be sure to make their pre-trip inspections," she said.
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