Amtrak, Central VA agencies review safety protocol following explosions

Amtrak, Central VA agencies review safety protocol following explosions

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The aftermath of the New York and New Jersey explosions finds local law enforcement stepping up their efforts to keep you safe. That's especially true for Capitol Police, who have to monitor the hundreds of tourists who visit state property on any given day.

When fully staffed, Capitol Police has more than 70 sworn officers working to keep you safe. They paid close attention following the bombings because they realize similar actions can happen anywhere with little notice.

Travel buses outside the State Capitol are a hallmark of Bank Street as tourists pour in year-round.

"Any visitor who comes in gets screens, through the X-ray machine [looking for] illegal weapons, explosives," said Captain Ray Goodloe.

It's a daily task that becomes even more serious in the aftermath of this weekend's explosions that sent dozens to the hospital.

"Our officers are constantly on heightened sense of alert. So any events as the one that just took place, an heightened sense of alert even further…We deal with several suspicious packages every year. We work closely with RPD's bomb squad but we have our own explosive detection K9's, bomb sniffing dogs," he said.

It comes after a backpack with what appeared to contain pipe bombs exploded when investigators examined it near a train station in New Jersey early Monday morning. It was the second explosion in New Jersey since Saturday. One of them happened near a train station, causing Amtrak to temporarily suspend service along its northeastern routes.

Adrian Hall is a frequent train rider.

"About every couple of weeks," he said.

He and his girlfriend tell us the chaos won't interrupt their travel plans.

"Absolutely not…You live in a big city, you're going to have all kinds of people doing real bad things," said Gloria Robinson.

Amtrak is taking precautions. A spokesperson released the following statement:

"Amtrak is working closely with the FBI and local law enforcement to monitor the ongoing incident in Elizabeth, NJ.  Amtrak has increased its security posture along the entire Northeast Corridor including additional uniformed and plainclothes officers as well as K9 units to keep our passengers, employees and the railroad safe.  Enhanced security measures are in place at stations, on trains and along the tracks.  Amtrak Police are in close contact with local, state and federal partner agencies to coordinate and share intelligence information.  Additionally, we have reached out to our Operation RAILSAFE partners for extra vigilance.  At this time there are no specific or credible threats against Amtrak."

This as Capitol Police remains vigilant with security mechanisms you can see, and others you cannot.

"Cameras [are] all over the facilities, in and out of the facilities," Goodloe added.

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