Metro announced today that it partnered with the Transportation Security Administration to deploy advanced portable passenger screening technology to help detect weapons and explosive devices that passengers may carry onto the transit system’s trains and buses.
Metro said it is the first surface transportation agency to use the devices.
“TSA applauds the leadership of L.A. Metro for its proactive efforts to evaluate, procure and use state-of-the-art technology designed to detect potential threats to the transit system,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “TSA is pleased to have been a partner during the evaluation and testing process, which ultimately led to the purchase of a recommended system to help detect and deter potential acts of terrorism while keeping the traveling public safe.”
Metro said the devices identify objects that block the naturally- occurring waves produced by a person’s body. When an object is hidden in clothing or strapped to a person, the waves are blocked and detected by the system’s software, which generates avatars and creates either a Black spot on the area of the body where the item is concealed or overlays a color indicator.
The technology does not emit radiation of any kind, and no anatomical details are displayed, according to the transit agency, which says the device allows law enforcement agents and Metro security to screen rail and bus patrons without disrupting foot traffic.
“Metro has been an industry leader in testing new technologies to meet evolving threats to our public transportation infrastructure,” county Supervisor and Metro board Chair Sheila Kuehl said. “This new technology will augment our already aggressive safety and security measures and help us proactively deter potential attacks to our system.”
The Thruvision TAC-TS4 portable terahertz millimeter wave passenger screening devices purchased by Metro can be placed at locations throughout the system. Metro said it tested the technology at its 7th Street/Metro Center Station over the last year.