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Anti-Terrorism Efforts Stepped Up in Orange County

The OCTA and Sheriff's Department's team was launched through a federal grant.

Bus and rail passengers in Orange County will see a stepped-up law-enforcement presence as part of an expanded anti-terrorism effort.

The Sheriff's Department and Orange County Transportation Authority have launched the Transit Police Services Counter Terrorism Team, which "will be highly visible and easily recognizable for rail and bus passengers and will serve as a deterrent to those who would seek to harm the public," according to the OCTA.

The team is being launched through a $122,000 federal grant.

“Mass Transit Bureau personnel of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will remain vigilant and embrace this new role to enhance the overall security of the Orange County Transportation Authority, its services and related facilities,” said Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

The team will use enforcement options in a random way, according to an OCTA press release, and will be deployed during special events and during elevated threat levels.

Its tactics will include: 

  • Random visual searches of public areas at train stations and transit centers.
  • Highly visible foot patrols on train platforms and at transit centers.
  • Boarding of both buses and trains.
  • Foot patrol of railroad rights of way.
  • Operations in conjunction with covert-team activities.

The Counter Terrorism Team is not the only anti-terrorism effort of the Sheriff’s Department and OCTA. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently awarded OCTA $487,000 through the Transit Security Grant Program to support additional transit security patrols and conduct "visible intermodal protection and response teams" and anti-terrorism, anti-crime teams.

The added patrols will be provided during the next three years, independent of normal Transit Police Services staffing and the Counter Terrorism Team, and will operate in coordination with other law enforcement agencies throughout Orange County, the OCTA said.  The funds awarded to OCTA do not require a local matching contribution.

In the last five years, more than $26 million in grant funding has gone toward implementing Homeland Security measures, including:

  • Security cameras on buses and at rail stations.
  • Patrols, personnel, exercises and training.
  • Communications.
  • Emergency plans and assessments.
  • Implementing physical security measures at transit bases and facilities.
Jim Reardon September 02, 2011 at 05:04 AM
Stimulus money. OCTA is a hot bed of terrorism, after all.
Shripathi Kamath September 02, 2011 at 05:31 AM
If only the county had likewise taken the healthcare money to get education programs on obesity going instead of funding it ourselves. That they turned down on principle or something. Don't know if OC is hotbed of obesity though, but I'd venture that it is more of that than terrorism activities. They could have used it to balance the budget a little. Like Perry did.
ace September 02, 2011 at 07:55 PM
the poor sheeple are afraid of their own shadows Booo Uncle sam says to be scared like JFK said we have nothing to fear but FEAR itself now go and spend a few trillion more on the invisable enemy
Justin Petruccelli September 02, 2011 at 08:16 PM
I think that was FDR :)
ace September 02, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Sorry “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address Franklin D. Roosevelt had campaigned against Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election by saying as little as possible about what he might do if elected. Through even the closest working relationships, none of the president-elect’s most intimate associates felt they knew him well, with the exception perhaps of his wife, Eleanor. The affable, witty Roosevelt used his great personal charm to keep most people at a distance. In campaign speeches, he favored a buoyant, optimistic, gently paternal tone spiced with humor. But his first inaugural address took on an unusually solemn, religious quality. And for good reason—by 1933 the depression had reached its depth. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address outlined in broad terms how he hoped to govern and reminded Americans that the nation’s “common difficulties” concerned “only material things.” If our society would spend more on education than wars I would have know this.

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