WASHINGTON - Local authorities in the D.C. area are taking no chances when it comes to safety. Tensions are high after the ISIS terror bombings in a Brussels subway and airport.
Metro Transit Police said they have augmented their own force with help from other police departments such as Alexandria, Prince George’s and Fairfax County.
But many passengers told us that they have not seen an increased police presence along their trips.
We tried all day on Wednesday to get Metro's police chief to do an interview with us to explain what he can about what his department is doing differently right now to keep people safe after the Brussels bombings. But our request was declined and we were told the chief was too busy.
So we decided to see for ourselves in an experiment during the 1 p.m. hour on Wednesday at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station if we could find any added police presence in the area.
Gallery Place-Chinatown is one of the major transfer stations in the Metrorail system. And at this time of the year during cherry blossom season, the city is packed with tourists. Metro's spokespeople told us transfer stations are places we would likely see police.
We walked both on the upper levels and the lower levels of this Metro station for a good part of an hour going up and down escalators as well as walking from the entrance at 7th and F Streets to the entrance at 7th and H streets.
For most of our walking tour, we encountered no officers from Metro Transit Police. Finally, as we left the station, we found one officer by himself who stepped into a station manager’s booth to monitor the video screen and then headed out onto the platforms.
Does this mean there are no police officers on Metro? Of course not, but many passengers told us one day after a major overseas terror attack, they expected to see a lot more officers.
Metro has 91 stations and 118 miles of track and police officers can't be everywhere all the time. Throughout the Metro system, there are signs from police reminding passengers “if you see something, say something." If there is any suspicious activity or unattended items seen, police want to hear from riders at 202-962-2121 or by texting “MyMTPD.”
Metro officials have told us that there will be security – seen and unseen. However, from our experience today, it appears unseen seems to be taking the lead.