I understand your points, TPR, and agree with some of them. Some, I do not. I'm speaking of a new order of RR policing. New departments, new training, new legislation, etc. Under the existing policies, I agree that such an expansion is difficult (not including Amtrak PD). (Speaking of Amtrak, they derive their powers from the state in which they are assigned, and they enforce state law, not federal.) As far as the suggestion that there is a conflict of interest regarding the objective reporting and actions concerning where the paycheck is coming from, I submit to you that that criticism is not exclusively the problem of RR police. Perhaps sometimes overstated, perhaps sometime understated, it's a potential risk anywhere. It appears that some relief to this problem may be to have jurisdiction over multiple locations and venues. I see this also as happening. Merging of departments is common. Transit (MBTA) Police has wide jurisdiction in cities and towns wherever the T goes, Amtrak has jurisdiction under contract with DC Police in areas which have no ties with RR, but happen to be in a relatively similiar geographical area. Campus police such as Northeastern, are now deputized as County Sheriffs, giving them increased jurisdictional powers over what they enjoyed previously as State "Specials". It's coming to the RR. Not to go on and on, but another factor here is communications. Lack of communications can be deadly. Boston changed a radio policy @ 1984 due to the fact that a vicious rape took place in the vicinity where one-man "service" cars were clear, but the call was not put out because the two-manned cars (on another radio channel) - the "Rapid Response" units, were all tied up. Hundreds of firefighters lost their lives at the World Trade Center due to the fact that they never received a broadcast that the police helicopter reported on the police radio that the South Tower was leaning and possibly going to collapse. Nobody's fault as both radios were in chaos at the time, but at least, had there been a centralized emergency channel to bind both, many lives might have been saved. The point that I'm trying to illustrate here is that merging emergency responders and bringing everyone "into the loop" has to be a project for this century, much the same as the project to install radio communications into cruisers was in the last one. Railroad PD's will be part of this, and they have to be expanded- perhaps under a different organizational structure, but expanded nonetheless. Even a rotating assignment would not surprise me in fifteen or twenty years, whereby officers patrol a city district for 6 months, patrol a railroad facility for 6 months, smaller local area for 6 months, airport for 6 months, etc. It has to happen, and in my opinion, I don't believe that local politics will ultimately prevent it due to various Federal penalties which would kick in for non-compliance.
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