Port Authority debuts pilot program for explosive device detection

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Security officers showed off new technology on Tuesday designed to spot dangerous devices at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Officers are using thermal imaging technology to stay two steps ahead of suicide bombers and active shooters.

"We look to weave together as tough a defense as we possibly can," said Port Authority Chief Security Officer John Bilich. "With the goal of making us much more secure and strengthening our various layers of security."

The system is known as the Standoff Explosive Detection Unit and is now part of a pilot program in the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

It doesn't use radiation. It looks instead for anything that interrupts the normal human heat signature.

Last year, a man tried to blow himself up in the subway station beneath Port Authority. Officials say this system would have detected the bomber had he tried to enter the terminal where nearly 300,000 people arrive and depart every day.

Some commuters said the pilot program is reassuring and it is better to be safe than sorry.

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