Tennessee First State to Allow TSA Highway Random Search Program
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
VIPR team in Tennessee
Tennessee has become the first state in the nation to welcome the federal government’s latest anti-terrorist program: Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created VIPR in December 2005, to inspect bus, rail and truck stations for potential threats. Modeled after the work performed at airport checkpoints and led by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), VIPR involves multiple federal agencies partnering with state law enforcement to identify possible suspects.
The VIPR budget for FY 2012 is $109 million and it is expected to support 37 VIPR teams. According to the DHS, these “teams are comprised of personnel with expertise in inspection, behavior detection, security screening, and law enforcement for random, unpredictable deployments throughout the transportation sector to prevent potential terrorist and criminal acts.”
In Tennessee VIPR has been set up at five weigh stations and two bus terminals. State officials noted that they were not responding to any particular threat, but rather were providing “a visible deterrence and detection security presence across Tennessee.”
Other states are expected to follow and accept VIPR at their transportation hubs.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide (by Adam Ghassemi, News Channel 5-Nashville)
It's Official: VIPR Formally Debuts in First U.S. State (by Cynthia Hodges, Chicago Homeland Security Examiner)
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