NJ Transit and Port Authority NY/NJ cops will begin random searches of bags, etc., at train stations and bus depots starting Monday mornign. Acing Gov. Codey ordered the policy, but it appears it was pushed by the fact that NYC police began their own random searches Thursday. "We couldn't look like we were weak and doing nothing," said some unnamed official.
Apparently racial profiling will not be tolerated. We learned our lesson with that one in Our Fair State. But no one will say how people would be selected to be searched.
My first reaction to this is to remind everyone what the Fourth Ammendment says. I guess the question here is, is this unreasonable? As yet another unnamed person in the Times article points out, they search everyone at the airport, and that's not considered unreasonable.
The real issue with this is that it's useless. As pointed out by Random Official, they don't want to look weak. But this won't actually make us any stronger. How many people can they search in a day? There are 800,000 trips on NJ transit on an average weekday, not to mention PATH. Will randomly pulling a few hundred, or even a few thousand, aside daily really increase our safety?
Now, I have the outsider perspective here- neither I nor my husband uses NJTransit on a daily basis. (Only for fun trips, like to see this.) The news is new today so I have yet to see it come up on the NJ blogs yet. It will be interesting to see what the throngs have to say, especially if the commutes are delayed on Monday.