Thursday, 8 July 2004
Today, police dogs on buses. Tomorrow, bagels and coffee, too.
Yesterday would-be travellers on interstate commuter buses from New Hampshire to Boston were required to submit to searches and dog-sniffing of themselves and their baggage by police before being allowed to board. The Boston Globe reports that more searches are planned, while the Associated Press (via the Portsmouth [NH] Herald), has this to say about the basis for the searches:
Concord Trailways supports the searches, said Vice President Ken Hunter. He said no specific threat prompted the searches.... Hunter said buying a ticket means a passenger agrees to terms imposed by the company, which include consenting to a search.
[Police Capt. Bill] Hart said ... "Our goal is to minimize the intrusion in busy commuters' lives.''...
He said the next time the officers show up, they'll bring coffee and bagels for passengers.
[Addendum, 8 July 2004: Here's what the USA Supreme Court decided the last time it considered the Constitutionality of police boarding buses and asking for passengers' "consent" to searches of themselves and their luggage, in U.S. v. Drayton in 2002, and what the Supreme Court dissenters had to say: "The bus was going nowhere, and with one officer in the driver's seat, it was reasonable to suppose no passenger would tend to his own business until the officers were ready to let him."]Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 8 July 2004, 07:17 ( 7:17 AM)