Mark R. Madler
Extra security was placed on trains and buses Thursday as a safety
precaution following four bombings on the London public
transportation system that morning that killed at least 50 people and
Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies are usually aboard Metrolink
trains but an additional number will be on board and on platforms
until further notice. Deputies will also be aboard MTA buses and
“The goal is to help ensure the public feels safe,” said Lt. Mike
Parker of the Sheriff Department’s metro transit services bureau. “It
is as safe today as it was yesterday.”
Metrolink will have bomb-sniffing dogs at Union Station in Los
Angeles and in Orange County and be inspecting all of its track and
right-of-ways, agency spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said.
“We have asked local law enforcement to increase the frequency of
patrols of our stations, which they are doing,” Tyrrell said.
The heightened alert by area police agencies followed the Thursday
morning rush hour bombings of three London Underground stations and a
Local riders, meanwhile, were not allowing the terrorist acts to
disrupt their daily routine of taking the train.
“Just because something happens over there that shouldn’t stop our
world,” said Lisa Perez, who was waiting at the Glendale Metrolink
station with her son and daughter for a train to Palmdale.
Yvonne Williams, a Palmdale resident who works in Glendale, took
the view that if it was her time to go then it was time.
“I can’t allow events to keep me from getting to and from work,”
said Williams, who takes the train nearly every day.
Glendale Police officers went to the train stations and
transportation hubs in the city Thursday until relieved by sheriff’s
deputies, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
The department is taking a pro-active approach to ensure the
safety of the residents, Lorenz said.
“Most importantly, there is no intelligence to indicate there is a
threat locally or at the state or national level,” Lorenz said.
In Burbank, increased police visibility was placed at
transportation centers, movie and television studios and water and
“In general, if we found if something is a problem area, we are
going to be more vigilant,” Burbank Police Deputy Chief Larry Koch
All departments are advising the public to notify the police if
they see any suspicious activity or objects.
At Bob Hope Airport, the police officers there have stepped up
patrols to respond to any emergencies, Bob Hope Police Chief Steve
Passengers are recommended to be at the airport an hour and a half
to two hours before departure to make sure their flight is still
leaving and to get through security, Staveley said.
Rep. Adam Schiff, making an appearance at the Glendale Farmer’s
Market Thursday morning, was confident that the public transit
services in the area were safe although riders should have to keep an
eye out for anything unusual, he said.
“We haven’t reached the point yet where we have to turn our train
stations and bus stations into the security we have at the airports,”
Schiff said. “It would be mammothly expensive and hopefully we don’t
have to go to that point.”
The Department of Homeland Security raised the threat level to
orange, or high, for public transportation systems Thursday, a move
that Schiff called very appropriate.
* MARK MADLER covers Burbank City Hall and the courts. He may be
reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at mark.madlerlatimes.com.