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Transit security put on alert

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


injured 700.

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

double-decker bus.

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

power facilities.

“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

Staveley said.

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