National Guard To Patrol PATH Trains
NEWARK, N.J. -- National Guard troops, some of them armed, will for the first time help patrol the PATH trains, Homeland Security officials told NewsChannel 4.
The patrols will start Monday. This past summer, investigators uncovered a plot to bomb the path trains.
Officials said there's no new specific threat, but as a precaution a surge of armed National Guard troops will begin random patrols at path stations next week.
"You might see a National Guardsman walking along the platform with a Port Authority police office," said New York state Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni. "You might even see bomb-sniffing dogs."
This security surge for the PATH uses a pop-up approach -- soldiers appearing randomly at stations all along the system.
"Just trying to protect the infrastructure by placing a guard doesn't always work," said Balboni. "We need to make sure we have the ability to continually change things. This is going to be a really good deterrent for someone who would want to do harm to the system."
These increased patrols come as the governors of New York and New Jersey pledged earlier this year to better coordinate security measures. The pilot program will cost $200,000 a month to deploy some 40 National Guard troops at 13 stations.
The effort mirrors a program underway at New York's Penn Station and Grand Central Station.
The new patrols come just weeks after officials promised more security on Metro North and the Long Island Rail Road. Just last summer, the FBI said it foiled a plot to bomb the path train tunnels.
Officials stressed the rollout of this plan is not linked to the alleged Fort Dix terror plot.