Good morning, fellow commuters. In this new era of pro-active policing, we'd like to know your experience was taking the subway this morning (or last night, as we hear some searching starting then) - were you checked, did you see others checked, did it take any longer. Overall, subway riders realize they need to be checked and are okay with it, even though civil liberties groups question the legality of doing so. According to the Daily News, searches at Union Square took 5 to 30 seconds. Many of our readers felt similarly yesterday, even if some pointed out it "security theater": It's sort of like Homeland Security telling people to buy duct tape in case of biological attacks; what the duct tape will really do in the end, but if it makes you feel better to have some duct tape, by all means, buy some.
The NYPD says they will not be racially profiling (in fact, most of the riders' concerns are whether or not the police will target certain people more) as they embark on these random subway bag checks, but they are sort of fashion profiling: The NYPD is going to focus on rucksacks and bags big enough for explosives. If these subway bag checks persist, expect a run on clear plastic bags, like the department store workers use. Experts do think this is a good move, in order to lower the probability that someone will carry a bomb, but some critics point out that there are other subway areas that are not secure, like the railyards in Coney Island. However, it's unclear whether or not police horses will be conducting searches as well.
Photograph by the AP