In case you get stopped by an officer to search your bag on the subway (chances are extremely low), just keep in mind that letting them check is completely optional. You don’t have to let NYPD officers go through your bag. It’s totally up to you. All the police can do is refuse to allow you on the train.
I always knew that…hell it says so right on the sign they have at the table. However, I never really thought about it that much until I read this from a SUBWAYblogger commenter.
So if a terrorist were to get stopped for an inspection, all they would have to do is say no, and get on the train somewhere else.
In preparation for the summer Olympic games, Beijing has started security checks at all of their subway stations. No, they aren’t a joke like they are in the NYC subway system.
“It’s just as strict as the airport security checks.” [Source]
They have wands to scan passengers for weapons, and all large bags go through X-ray machines. Liquids are checked unless the passenger takes a sip from the container.
Compare that to New York City’s methods…the same NYC that is daily terror target every day of the year. In most cases, it could be weeks before you see any formal security procedures beyond an officer standing around the platform.
The bag inspection system is laughable. Quick survey, out of the last 50 times you’ve walked by one of the NYPD inpection tables, how many times have you seen someone having their bag inspected? Maybe 2 or 3? That’s what I thought.
Most of the time, the table is just there for show. They only inspect a handful of people.
After years of riding the subway and carrying a semi large computer bag, I’ve only been inspected once. I started to open the the bag, and the cop said, “Nahh don’t worry about those [smaller pockets]. Just open the large compartment.”
Ohh…ok. So those other pockets couldn’t possibly contain anything suspect because the terrorists would never think to hide a biological weapon in the smaller, hidden pockets. They just use the big one.
Anyway, just another example where the US is falling behind other nations.