- The Washington Times - Friday, October 12, 2001

Metro officials are considering installing metal detectors throughout its subway system and training National Guard troops to provide extra security during emergencies.
Transit officials are planning to ask the federal government for at least $40 million for security enhancement, including the placement of cameras on Metro's 1,400 buses and the installation of motion detectors along the tracks of the 103-mile subway system.
Metro spokesman Ray Feldmann said the agency could present its funding request early next week.
Metro sources yesterday said the request would be significantly more than $40 million because it would include funding for extra training for police officers and other electronic monitoring systems. Mr. Feldmann said the request does not include funding for installing metal detectors or training National Guardsmen.
General Manager Richard A. White said he would like to see the troops trained to be familiar with the subway system and Metro's safety procedures.
Those troops would patrol subway stations and other facilities with Metro Transit Police's 320-member force. Mr. White said the force expects to add 37 new officers next year, adding that the current heightened state of alert has stretched the force thin.
Mr. White said he does not think circumstances require National Guard troops to patrol subway stations daily as they do in airports around the country. Troops would have to be deployed by President Bush, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams or the governors of Maryland and Virginia under a state of emergency, which does not exist now.
Placing metal detectors at the entrances of the subway system's 83 stations is among several security enhancements Metro officials are considering.
Mr. Feldmann said the issue of metal detectors is "on the table," but cautioned that discussions are preliminary.
"We have to balance something like metal detectors against the need to move thousands of people a day," he said.
"Putting metal detectors in would very likely cause major disruptions at our stations."
Metro's subway averages more than 600,000 riders each day.
Metro Board Chairman Decatur "Bucky" Trotter said he is "certain metal detectors will be used" for large events like the Fourth of July fireworks display.
He added that Metro cannot "shake down every person" with the detectors.
Another option to increase security, sources said, was for Metro to have uniformed or plainclothes police officers stationed on trains during peak periods, just as air marshals now patrol commercial airline flights.
Some of the suggested security changes go beyond adding more bodies or technology.
On Tuesday, Metro Transit Police became involved in a scuffle with Kenneth Ranger, 23, who they say fired a shot from a handgun, carried a knife and a plastic bottle of what was believed to be cleaning fluid. Mr. Ranger, who was charged with first-degree attempted murder, was thought at first to have unleashed a biological- or chemical-weapon attack. That incident, Mr. White said, has prompted more security reviews.
Metro was criticized shortly after the incident for allowing the four-car train in which Mr. Ranger who has a criminal record had sprayed passengers to continue on to several stations before stopping, even though the cars had been evacuated and sealed.
Mr. White said that issue was part of the Metro staff's security review yesterday.
Also, the issue over who has control over a scene of similar incidents and who makes what decisions will be part of a discussion today he will have with representatives of the region's fire chiefs.

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