July 5, 2010
The 14 help wanted ads in this week's classifieds offer such jobs as a transit agency general manager and an executive director in academia!
National Leaders Convene, Discuss Security Challenges, Successes
A group comprising leaders from law enforcement, intelligence, and transportation gathered in Aspen, CO, on June 29 to discuss before nearly 200 attendees the security challenges facing America—including the ongoing threat to public transportation and the actions the industry is taking to improve transit security.
The discussion was held as part of the Aspen Security Forum, a new three-day event hosted by the Aspen Institute.
Amtrak Chief of Police John O’Connor joined Jeffrey Dielinski, deputy chief of the Homeland Security and Investigation ureau at Metro Transit Police in Washington, DC, and APTA President William Millar in a discussion of public transit security.
Millar noted that public transportation systems are the target of approximately one-third of all terrorist attacks. “We’re on the front lines of defense,” he said, “and so public transportation security is national security.”
Public transit systems have been continually improving their security efforts, Millar added—but the federal government can help the industry do more by providing increased security funding for capital and operations programs, greater flexibility in how those funds can be used, and a faster process for conveying those dollars to transit systems.
The industry has achieved successes, he noted. Most recently, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s “If you see something, say something” public awareness campaign was instrumental in preventing the attempted attack at Times Square, he said.
The discussion also included Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center; and former New York City Police Chief William Bratton.