The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Tuesday partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and several other federal and state agencies for a safety enforcement and awareness operation on Tennessee’s interstates and two metropolitan-area bus stations. They are randomly inspecting vehicles on highways in Tennessee.
The random inspections really aren’t any more thorough normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott who says paying attention to details can make a difference.
“People generally associate the TSA with airport security…but now we have moved on to other forms of transportation, such as highways, buses and railways,” said Kevin McCarthy, TSA federal security director for West Tennessee.
To increase national security, the TSA created Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response, known as VIPR, teams, which consist of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detention officers and explosive detection canine teams.
McCarthy also pointed out that Interstate 40 is one of the country’s a major thoroughfares, being the third longest major west-east interstate highway in the United States after Interstate 90 and Interstate 80. Interstate 40′s western end is in Barstow, Calif. and its eastern end is in Wilmington, N.C.
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The TSA reports that Tuesday’s operation is the first ever instance where simultaneous state-wide VIPR operations have been held on this level—in seven locations, including:
· The northbound I-65 scale complex, just south of the Kentucky border
· Both scale complexes on I-24 near Manchester;
· Both scale complexes on I-40 in Knoxville near the I-75 interchange;
· Both scale complexes on I-81 near Greenville;
· Both scale complexes on I-40 near Brownsville;
· The Knoxville Greyhound station; and
· The Metro Transit Authority’s Music City Central hub in Nashville.
The VIPR operation ran from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. local time at each location.
At each of these locations, federal and state agents inspected trucks and other vehicles to identify security threats. Tuesday’s operation was not based on any specific threat, but provided a visible deterrence and detection security presence across Tennessee.
“Operations such as this strengthen relationships and enhance coordination between federal and state Homeland Security officials, and local law enforcement by using a ‘team of teams’ approach,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. VIPR operations enable Homeland Security officials and local law enforcement to develop joint operational security processes and procedures in advance of terrorism threats and attacks, Gibbons noted.
Another key element of Tuesday’s VIPR operation was creating awareness of the First Observer Highway Security Program. First Observer is a national safety and security program in which federal and state law enforcement officials rely on the skills, experiences, and “savvy” of America’s transportation professionals. Through the First Observer program, truck drivers are educated to observe their surroundings as they travel across the country to look for suspicious or unusual behavior. First Observer utilizes these transportation professionals to help protect the critical infrastructure that moves goods and services and people across the United States. Officials talked to and distributed information about First Observer to all truck drivers who passed through the scale complexes on Tuesday.
Wow, what is this world coming to? We are living in a complete police state! Soon the TSA will be in malls, sport stadiums, at your work and pretty much anywhere that you can think of! It’s not their job to be searching people without ‘probable cause’, I thought that was the fourth amendment in our Constitution? Our government is getting out of control with this ‘police state’ which is said to protect the people.. I don’t think they are protecting us, but rather invading our privacy. Remember once they take away a couple rights; you can be damn sure they will eventually take away all of them! Remember awhile back in Tampa, Florida when they set up TSA Checkpoints at bus stations? (Called Operation V.I.P.R) Click Here to watch the video within the site.. So they’re also worried about cash smuggling, drugs, immigration and terrorism.. I thought the TSA only had to do with ‘National Security’ issues?
This is only the beginning people.. I can tell you that the TSA/Government is testing these checkpoints out before they bring it to your state! If you thought the police were bad, just wait till your at a Homeland Security Checkpoint with Federal Agents.. America is getting worse everyday and it’s not looking good for the citizens! After hearing this story, it makes me not want to drive on the highway anymore. So when will the tyranny stop?! I have a feeling it will never stop because the citizensjust give in to the corruption.. We need to stand up for our rights before they’re all gone! Remember we have rights, this isn’t a communist country. Spread this article to everyone, because people need to know what’s going to happen in the near future. If you have experienced one of these TSA checkpoints at a bus-station or on the road, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org