I'm all for LA Metro's body scanners

Posted by Steve Sweeney
on Friday, August 17, 2018

If LA Metro's new body scanners work out, I want them rolled out nationwide at commuter and passenger train stations — airports too.

If you're cursing me out as a nanny state worshipper, please hear me out. 

My support is mostly to boost the psychological well-being of passengers, myself included.

In major transportation hubs we already have plenty of armed, combat-ready police; metal detectors; bomb sniffing dogs; drug dogs; and other safety-security contrivances. (At Philadelphia's airport, I got my hands swabbed in a security line — I never found out why.) And I've seen other people frisked and asked questions of — then released. I'm certain you have too.

For all the manned intervention, I'm not sure anyone really is safer. But I am sure we are a lot more on edge.

I would much rather be scanned passively by a computer that might better decide that my camera bag full of gear is heavy with lenses, than a human inclined to assume the worst (a bomb) and act accordingly, if professionally.

And unless someone triggers a sensor, maybe the police will stay in a ready room or other unobtrusive place: Available, but unengaged until called upon.

For now, LA Metro's scanners will be tuned to detect people carrying or wearing explosive devices. I imagine a future version could also be tuned to detect firearms, large knives, or large stashes of concealed drugs. In most crowded stations areas, these items are already banned — so why not detect them and remove the real security risk?

That's my two cents. What say you?

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