Federal grant gives NYCTA boost in security

To deter prevent terrorist attacks
April 24, 2008 4:46:25 PM PDT
Subway platforms may be a little more crowded than usual today -- thanks to beefed up security measures. The NYPD rolled out "Operation Torch." Heavily armed police units began patrolling the subways Thursday morning. Commissioner Kelly announced the deployments this morning. The teams made quite the impression on commuters this morning, in fact some said they were a little frightened.

"I like the idea of them doing this, I just wish they found a way to not be so in your face with it," one commuter said.

This force looks similar to the "hercules" team, only with a metrocard. Thanks to a massive federal transit grant New York City subways received a boost in terms of security, to deter terrorist attacks.

The job of these teams is to make daily patrols inside the subway system, board trains and patrol platforms, focusing on sites like Pennsylvania Station, Herald Square, Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center and Times Square in Manhattan, and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Each torch team will work 12-hour shifts and have a bomb-sniffing dog and six officers: A sergeant, a dog handler, and four officers from the NYPD's emergency service unit.

The show of force no doubt made many riders feel safer, although some weren't sure how much of a difference it will make.

Funding for operation torch comes from a $153 million federal transit security grant to new york state that was announced a few months ago.

The money will also be used to improve communications equipment, and possibly an increase in the number of cameras as well.

It's also being shared by other agencies like Metro North and the Long Island Railroad.