N.Y. to Search Subway Riders

From a Times Staff Writer

New York City officials announced Thursday that police would begin randomly inspecting backpacks and other packages today on its subway system.

The searches will rotate through the 468 stations of the system, which carries more than 4.5 million passengers on an average weekday.

“We just live in a world where, sadly, these kinds of security measures are necessary,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a news conference with Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.


Bloomberg said there was no “credible intelligence” of a specific threat.

Kelly said officers would inspect bags either before passengers go through turnstiles or after they have entered the subway platform. If passengers refuse to submit to such searches, he added, they will be asked to leave the station.

Kelly acknowledged the checks could focus on only a small percentage of people using the system. Police are still developing the new security plan, and the searches might be extended to buses, he said.