On Tuesday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) launched Blue TIDE, a new initiative aimed at deterring terrorist activity in the Metro system.
Blue TIDE — Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort — included about 50 MTPD officers conducting a major, high-visibility, anti-terrorism show of force at Union Station during the morning rush hour.
While there is no current threat to the transit agency or elevated threat level, the presence of 50 uniformed officers at Metro’s busiest rail station served as a visible reminder to riders and the public that Metro remains vigilant against terrorist activity.
Blue TIDE included a number of security sweeps and patrols at the Union Station Metrorail station and Metrobus boarding area outside of Union Station. It also served to remind the public to remain observant while riding Metro and report any suspicious behavior.
Officers from a number of MTPD units participated in the effort, including the anti-terrorism, special response and K-9 explosives detection teams, Metrobus enforcement and criminal investigations divisions, bomb technicians, emergency management, mobile and foot patrols, auto theft unit, bicycle squad, crime prevention and police communications.
The MTPD recently formed a new, 20-member, anti-terrorism team that is devoted to deterring a terrorist attack in the Metro system. The unit was made possible by a $9.56 million Transit Security Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
MTPD plans to conduct similar events in the future along with other local law enforcement agencies.