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Police Begin Random Bus Searches In Londonderry

The MURC Channel | July 7 2004

LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- Airline passengers go through security searches, and now, so do some bus passengers.

Police in Londonderry started random searches of bus riders headed from New Hampshire to Boston Wednesday morning. Specially trained dogs were used to search luggage and passengers for explosives.

The searches are in preparation for the Democratic National Convention to be held at the end of the month in Boston. Random searches will be conducted on all buses that pass through the Park and Ride lots.

"The bottom line is that when you purchase a ticket on the bus, you consent to having your belongings searched, but we're looking to have this be a very cooperative venture," Londonderry police Capt. Bill Hart said.

Concord Trailways said it has concerns about the impact on the schedule, but officials said passengers seem to appreciate the extra security.

"I think it's going to make them feel safer," Concord Trailways Vice President Ken Hunter said. "They wouldn't want to have it done every day, but having it done randomly is what they're looking for."

Passengers Wednesday morning had no complaints about the searches, but some were concerned about the potential impact on the schedule.

"The thing is, they're going to have to change a lot of the bus schedules to be here a lot earlier," commuter Carl Fields said.

Bus officials said any delays would be worth the extra security.

"In today's day and age and the way the world is going, I don't think we can take enough precautions," Hunter said.

The impact Wednesday morning appeared to be minimal. A bus scheduled to leave at 7 a.m. departed at 7:03 a.m.