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Thu, Jan 15, 2009

TSA To Aid Secret Service During 56th Presidential Inauguration

VIPR Teams To Be Deployed At Airports, Other Transportation Hubs

The Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday plans to support US Secret Service efforts to secure transportation systems and events surrounding the 56th Presidential Inauguration.

"We are ready to assist the US Secret Service with the important task of keeping our transportation systems and inauguration events safe," said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. "This is a valuable partnership that provides an added layer of protection to enhance the security of the American public during this historic event."

TSA plans to deploy Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams in all modes of transportation, including in commercial airport terminals, leading up to the inauguration. VIPR teams work with local law enforcement officials to supplement existing security resources by providing deterrent presence and detection capabilities, and an unpredictable layer of security.

Airports in the national capital region have coordinated staffing and are prepared to accommodate large crowds. Local airports have increased the number of behavior detection officers as an added element of unpredictability. Additionally, more than a dozen TSA-certified explosive detection canine teams will supplement existing capital region teams, enhancing mobile detection capabilities in airports and mass transit systems.

VIPR teams are comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers, explosives detection canine teams, and local law enforcement.

TSA will also provide over 300 transportation security officers from across the country to assist the Secret Service with screening participants along the parade route and at the inaugural events hosted at the Capitol. Much like their involvement in the Democratic and Republican national conventions and on the campaign trail, TSA officers will be part of the effort to ensure potentially dangerous items are not allowed in secure areas.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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