Tuesday, March 6, 2012

HART Security Standards Earn National Recognition!

HART partners with law enforcement for regular security/safety drills
HART is one of 17 rail and mass transit agencies from throughout the country to receive the Transportation Security Administration's "Gold Standard," the highest rating an agency can earn for its Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE). Transit agencies volunteer for this comprehensive review, which analyzes systems, identifies vulnerabilities, and assesses progress in areas such as security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. 

Transit systems were reviewed in 2011, and TSA announced those who received the "Gold Standard" earlier this month.  

"For HART, it means our plans and procedures are up to par with best practices, and we will continue fine-tuning our collaboration with law enforcement and emergency responders," said Michael Stephens, who oversees HART safety/security as Director of Human Resources, Risk, and Legal Services. "HART is a valuable resource for law enforcement investigations and during an emergency, and we are ready to respond when needed."

HART has enhanced security operations and emergency management by building strong partnerships with local law enforcement and emergency response agencies. HART has also boosted training among drivers, transportation supervisors, as well as maintenance employees, to increase their awareness about suspicious activities.

Projects such as enhanced lighting have helped increase safety on HART
In addition, since 2002, HART has used federal funding to build an extensive surveillance system and security cameras are now on all buses and streetcars, as well as several HART facilities. These cameras have not only enforced rider regulations and served as a crime deterrent for enhanced safety of HART customers, recordings from these cameras have provided local law enforcement with valuable evidence to help solve outside criminal investigations.  

"I commend these organizations for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "TSA recognizes the continued dedication individual transit agencies demonstrate every day to ensure the safety of travelers nationwide."

The BASE program was developed to increase enhance prevention and protection capabilities, and further response preparedness of transit systems nationwide. BASE is aimed at meeting the requirements in the 9/11 Commission Act's security assessment section, which directs TSA to identify critical assets, infrastructure and systems and their vulnerabilities, and assist bus and public transportation authorities to address their security programs

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