Local law enforcement and public safety participate in live station scenario
What if a disturbed man carrying a suspicious package and threatening to blow up government offices is onboard an sbX bus rapid transit vehicle? That was the scenario for a security drill conducted April 24th at the sbX station on E Street at Rialto Avenue.
A small section of E Street was closed for about 90 minutes as local law enforcement and public safety agencies took part in the live drill which lasted about 45 minutes. Along with the “bomber”, played by a San Bernardino Police Department employee, five Omnitrans employees were on the bus as driver and passengers.
The live drill followed a table top exercise the prior week and fulfills a requirement by the Federal Transit Administration for the sbX Safety and Security Certification Plan. Going forward, table top sbX security drills are required annually and live drills may be scheduled at the request of law enforcement.
During “negotiations” with the suspect, law enforcement could see what was happening through a live feed from security cameras on board the bus. A SWAT vehicle approached the bus and “passengers” were released a few at a time and transported a short distance for “treatment” by paramedics. Eventually, the suspect exited the vehicle and was safely apprehended.
“Drills like these help our police and sheriff departments become familiar with our equipment. We put Omnitrans systems and procedures to the test. In the process, everyone learns something from the experience so we are better prepared to work together in the unlikely event that a similar situation arises,” said Mark Crosby, Omnitrans Security & Loss Prevention Supervisor.
Approximately 40 people total participated in the security exercise including representatives from San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino Fire Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Loma Linda Station, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Bomb Squad, American Medical Response and Omnitrans staff and consultants.
The sbX rapid transit line begins service on Monday, April 28th, beginning at 6 am. Omnitrans is offering free rides on sbX during the first week of service between Monday, April 28th and Friday, May 2nd.