L.A.’s rail system will be first in the U.S. to use scanners that detect explosives
Los Angeles County’s rail system will be the first in the United States to deploy body scanners that can detect suicide vests and other improvised explosives, transportation officials said Tuesday.
Later this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will deploy several portable scanners that can be moved to any of the system’s 93 subway and light-rail stations. The devices will be used in response to terrorism threats, or to scan large crowds at a station near a protest or a sporting event, officials said.
The scanners resemble a small trunk on wheels. They can be pointed toward an escalator or a station entrance, and can scan people from 30 feet away without requiring people to line up or slow down. …
The scanners use radio waves to identify objects, including guns and nonmetallic explosives, concealed under a jacket or in a pocket. …
“One thing we have to be sensitive to is the 4th Amendment, unreasonable search and seizure,” Wiggins said. “We will make it very, very clear that individuals are entering an area where they’re subject to search.”
Riders who “want to opt out, can opt out,” Wiggins said, but could be barred from entering the station if they refuse to be screened. He added: “That means not taking transit that day.”