Sen. Schumer asks FCC to change law to allow Amtrak Police and Local Police to communicate
Current FCC regulation treats Amtrak Police as railroad personnel and not as Law Enforcement, making them unable to communicate with local law enforcement personnel via radio in case of emergency.
The history of railway security goes beyond the civil war to the protecting of gold shipments from the West coast to the East coast through the territories. As time progressed, railway corporations became responsible for providing their own security during transit. Today, many state penal codes (including Texas) recognize railway police as a separate and specialized form of law enforcement organization.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change a regulation which treats Amtrak Police as railroad personnel rather than law enforcement personnel. Though subtle, this treatment prohibits Amtrak police from having radio communication with local law enforcement and emergency management personnel in the event of an emergency on an Amtrak train passing through the jurisdiction.
The Amtrak Police Department’s over 500 sworn and civilian personnel at 30 locations in 46 states provide security for Amtrak employees, passengers and infrastructure safety and security. The Police Department consists of a: National Communications Center, Patrol Division, and Special Operations Division. The Special Operations Division consists of a K-9 Unit, Intelligence, Special Operations Unit, and Counter-Terrorism Unit.
As we develop our communications annex’s, ensuring the ability to communicate with adjacent agencies in an emergency can be the difference between life and death. Modifying FCC regulations allowing radio communication between Amtrak police and local police and emergency management will help ensure interoperability in the event of an emergency situation. The important thing is that once the FCC modifies existing regulations, is that law enforcement agencies and emergency management organizations amend their communications procedures to include Amtrak Police and the Amtrak Police National Communications Center.
Read the full article here.
Visit the Amtrak Police Department’s Web Site here.