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Lack of security in Washington Union Station

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AKA

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I connected in WAS on two Saturdays. On 7 May and on 21 May. I only saw one security person in the station in about a total of 7 hoursI could not tell what PD the person was from. (Not Amtrak PD ) I may have missed something, however did not see any Amtrak PD. I was in and out for a couple smokes,so I was moving around. It was very busy so I could have missed seeing any security. Anyone else notice the lack of security ? Just wondering.
 

Bob Dylan

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Washington DC and Union Station has extremely Heavy Security,both seen and unseen!

Security theater like the Marx Brothers,er TSA puts on @ Airports is the type of " Security" that you should be concerned about!
 

Hal

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I connected in WAS on two Saturdays. On 7 May and on 21 May. I only saw one security person in the station in about a total of 7 hoursI could not tell what PD the person was from. (Not Amtrak PD ) I may have missed something, however did not see any Amtrak PD. I was in and out for a couple smokes,so I was moving around. It was very busy so I could have missed seeing any security. Anyone else notice the lack of security ? Just wondering.
.
Union Station has a good number Amtrak police on duty all the time. Uniformed and non uniform patrolling. Several K9 teams on duty all the time too. Plus security cameras all over that are being monitored.
 

Ryan

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Indeed, you must be blind - there are police all over the joint.
 

RSG

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good security is kind you do not see, the once [sic] you see are window dressing.
This has always been my philosophy. For the OP, a good test to see just how much security is in a particular location is to pull out a camera and start taking random pictures. If you are not approached by someone in short order, then you might have reason for concern.
 

Ryan

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Why exactly do you think that taking pictures should involve being hassled by security?
 

Hal

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good security is kind you do not see, the once [sic] you see are window dressing.
This has always been my philosophy. For the OP, a good test to see just how much security is in a particular location is to pull out a camera and start taking random pictures. If you are not approached by someone in short order, then you might have reason for concern.
Taking pictures inside the open areas of Union Station is allowed and following several publicized incidents where the non Amtrak security (employed by the company that manages the station) was bothering people taking pictures, none is suppose to bother people taking pictures in the open to public areas. So don't expect to be bothered for pulling out a camera and taking random pictures.
 
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OlympianHiawatha

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I have taken several pics inside Washington Union with no trouble whatsoever and for that matter have taken copious stills and videos of the engine changes with no problems; often the Crew will even explain what is going on. I venture to guess Washington Union is safer than any airport in the world maybe with the exception of those in Israel.
 

Hal

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I have taken several pics inside Washington Union with no trouble whatsoever and for that matter have taken copious stills and videos of the engine changes with no problems; often the Crew will even explain what is going on. I venture to guess Washington Union is safer than any airport in the world maybe with the exception of those in Israel.
I don't think I would go that far but there is no reason to bother people taking pictures inside Union Station. That won't provide security or safety.
 
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RSG

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Why exactly do you think that taking pictures should involve being hassled by security?
Because they have been hassled for doing so in the past. Apparently, as Hal noted, that's a thing of the past. Let's hope so. There is (or was) YouTube video of one of the network TV affiliates in DC being hassled by APD for doing a legitimate news story while in Union Station.

Nonetheless, many of the watchers tend to come unglued when cameras come out in various places these days. It's still an interesting test to see just who's paying attention.
 

Alexandria Nick

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The Main Hall is a major work of architecture for its time, style, and designer, so there's no shortage of people photographing inside the building.
 

PVD

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  1. Photography is welcome in the public areas of Union Station. However, the use of camera tripods and/or photography associated with the press or news media requires prior written approval from the Union Station Management Office
  2. It is Amtrak policy to permit photography including news video in the public areas of Amtrak's portion of Washington Union Station. This area is generally defined as the Amtrak ticket counters northward to the train departure gates. Amtrak's Corporate Communications' Department must arrange escorts for news media wishing access to train platform.
The be comes from the rules of the organization that controls many of the public areas of Union Station, and their rules are somewhat different than Amtrak's. I'm not sure how someone walking in the door is supposed to know which area is which.

Many locations and agencies have a different set of policies for private individuals taking pictures for personal use than pictures taken for commercial use. Very often that would require prior permission. If someone came in with commercial video equipment, questioning them to acertain the purpose of the photography would generally be acceptable. Depending on local rules and regulations applying to the location that a particular property is covered by, "breaking news" may be an exception. Obviously, there is a right and wrong way to approach and question someone regardless of the issue, and I have no idea what actually happened.
 
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Triley

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Why exactly do you think that taking pictures should involve being hassled by security?
Because they have been hassled for doing so in the past. Apparently, as Hal noted, that's a thing of the past. Let's hope so. There is (or was) YouTube video of one of the network TV affiliates in DC being hassled by APD for doing a legitimate news story while in Union Station.

Nonetheless, many of the watchers tend to come unglued when cameras come out in various places these days. It's still an interesting test to see just who's paying attention.
Media is suppose to have permission to be on property if I'm not mistaken. At least at Amtrak owned stations. Not sure how it works with stations we rent/lease space.
 

RSG

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Why exactly do you think that taking pictures should involve being hassled by security?
Because they have been hassled for doing so in the past. Apparently, as Hal noted, that's a thing of the past. Let's hope so. There is (or was) YouTube video of one of the network TV affiliates in DC being hassled by APD for doing a legitimate news story while in Union Station.

Nonetheless, many of the watchers tend to come unglued when cameras come out in various places these days. It's still an interesting test to see just who's paying attention.
Media is suppose to have permission to be on property if I'm not mistaken. At least at Amtrak owned stations. Not sure how it works with stations we rent/lease space.
That is probably most likely the case, and would be in line with most private businesses. Though if I was an assignment editor for a media outlet, I would make a courtesy call to inform that I was sending a crew to do a story (and what that story was about), but I wouldn't ask nor wait for permission. It's technically government property and that's the argument I would make if my crew were eighty-sixed, particularly if they weren't disrupting operations. Of course Union Station in WAS & CHI are different than Amtrak operations in other locations, by their very nature.
 

Ryan

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Why exactly do you think that taking pictures should involve being hassled by security?
Because they have been hassled for doing so in the past.
That answers the question of why they would be hassled, not why they should be. The answer to the should question is "of course they shouldn't be hassled, that would be silly.

Nonetheless, many of the watchers tend to come unglued when cameras come out in various places these days. It's still an interesting test to see just who's paying attention.
Not a valid test, as a lack of reaction could indicate (as it does in WAS) that they're paying attention, but not idiot Neanderthals hassling people for no good reason.
 

JoeBas

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There's been, what, two people shot by security in WUS in the last couple years alone?

Sounds plenty secure enough to me.
 

afigg

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There's been, what, two people shot by security in WUS in the last couple years alone?

Sounds plenty secure enough to me.
Yes. IIRC, at least one was shot by a security guard from the SEC building located next to Union Station.

I have been through WAS many times and have never noticed a lack of uniformed police officers. It may be on the Saturdays that the OP was in the station, that there were fewer uniformed officers on patrol because some were off for training or had been redeployed elsewhere for the day to cover events. Or the uniformed officers were hanging out around the center desk and the OP didn't notice them.
 

PerRock

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good security is kind you do not see, the once [sic] you see are window dressing.
This has always been my philosophy. For the OP, a good test to see just how much security is in a particular location is to pull out a camera and start taking random pictures. If you are not approached by someone in short order, then you might have reason for concern.
Taking pictures inside the open areas of Union Station is allowed and following several publicized incidents where the non Amtrak security (employed by the company that manages the station) was bothering people taking pictures, none is suppose to bother people taking pictures in the open to public areas. So don't expect to be bothered for pulling out a camera and taking random pictures.
Probably the best one was when a news channel was interviewing the managing co's Amtrak's head media spokesman in the station about the reports of security harassing photographers; when a security officer approached the tv crew and told them they couldn't film there.

peter
 
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Devil's Advocate

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Texas
good security is kind you do not see, the once [sic] you see are window dressing.
This has always been my philosophy. For the OP, a good test to see just how much security is in a particular location is to pull out a camera and start taking random pictures. If you are not approached by someone in short order, then you might have reason for concern.
I'd be more concerned if all it takes is random use of a camera to identify and distract security personnel from other threats.
 
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