Connecticut Also Adds Random Searches at Transit System

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - Passengers getting on board Metro-North commuter trains are now subject to random searches under increased security procedures following the latest attack on London's transit system.

State police and national guardsmen wilol conduct random searches of packages, briefcases and bags as part of anti-terrorism efforts.

"We are protecting the public at large from a real and defined threat," Dan Brucker, a spokesman for Metro-North said Thursday. "The overall safety of 125,000 Metro-North customers is our No. 1 priority."

Brucker said that passengers can refuse the search, but Metro-North can then refuse to allow those passengers to board.

State Police Sgt. J. Paul Vance, spokesman for Connecticut's Homeland Security Division, asked commuters to be cooperative with an additional level of security and to make some adjustments in their commuting habits.

"To date, there has been no direct threat to Connecticut, but the alert level of orange remains, and we are continuing to assign troopers to ride the trains to New York and back," Vance said. "We are prepared to make some additions to that operation." Vance said that commuters should continue to watch for the unusual.

"It's very important, because we're relying on the ridership along the trains and the stations to be vigilant and observant and report to police, National Guard or train personnel," Vance said.