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These TSA-Level Scanners Will Be Checking You For Weapons In L.A. Metro Rail Stations

12:04 AM PDT on August 16, 2018

This is a view of what appears on the device’s screen. Photo courtesy of L.A. Metro

[dropcap size=big]P[/dropcap]ortable TSA-level body scanners will be used throughout Los Angeles Metro, Metrolink, and Amtrak stations to randomly scan commuters for nefarious objects in a “pop-up security screening” system, representatives for the transportation agencies announced Tuesday at Union Station.

“We need to embrace this new technology to meet the evolving threat to the U.S. transportation sector,” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington read from prepared remarks. “We now have the ability to obtain early visual warning of person born improvised devices or weapons.”

He also touted the fact that Metro is the first public transit system in the country to implement this type of technology.

This is a view of what appears on the device's screen. Photo courtesy of L.A. Metro

According to statement by the organizations, the portable devices allow for screenings at rail and bus stations without disrupting foot traffic. You could essentially be scanned coming down an escalator and not even know it.

“The technology is ideal for public transit environments where we can add an additional lawyer of security while having no impact on pedestrian foot traffic into our stations,” Washington said at the press conference. “It’s portability enables us to flexibly move the equipment throughout the metro system as part of a pop-up security screening approach.”

Photo courtesy of L.A. Metro

Metro said it has purchased several portable body scanners called Thruvision TAC-TS4 scanners that run at $100,000 a pop. Thruvision technology and other similar ones were tested by a joint TSA Metro program over the past year at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station.

“The devices identify objects that block the naturally-occurring waves produced by a person’s body,” the TSA Metro statement said. “The software generates generic avatars and creates either a black spot on the area of the body where the item is concealed or overlays a color indicator. The technology does not emit radiation of any kind and no anatomical details are displayed.”

Metro did not give a timeline for the deployment but a representative said they would be “deploying in very short order.”

You can watch a quick demo of the technology below.

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