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Police officers to ride trains today as part of Operation RAIL SAFE

Written by Megan Lello | Mar 11, 2013 4:01 AM

(Middletown) -- Some Amtrak passengers who take the Keystone Line could see some police officers on their rides today.

Thumbnail image for Amtrak train

Several central Pennsylvania police departments are taking part in Operation RAIL SAFE, an initiative designed to promote safety on trains and improve counterterrorism efforts.

The Middletown Police Department in Dauphin County is one of 270 agencies nationwide participating.

Borough Spokesman Chris Courogen says passengers shouldn't be alarmed if they see law enforcement officers onboard trains. "What they're likely to see is a heightened police presence. They probably don't usually see police officers in Middletown patrolling near the train station, or they're likely to see, as they travel by rail, Amtrak police along the right-of-way, or they may see them at different stations."

Courogen says the program, developed by the Amtrak Police Department and Transportation Security Administration, coincides with the anniversary of the 2004 terrorist bombings at a train station in Madrid, Spain.

Police departments from Harrisburg as well as Elizabethtown, Lancaster, and Mount Joy in Lancaster County are also set to take part.

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