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Officials testify on Metro system safety

Saturday - 6/25/2011, 2:31pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Metro Transit police chief says his officers have responded to an increasing number of calls this year for suspicious packages or persons or bomb threats.

Chief Michael Taborn said during a congressional hearing Friday on Metro security and safety that he believes the increase is due to a campaign encouraging travelers to be aggressive in reporting anything suspicious. Metro officials responded to a scare last week after a woman boarding a Red Line train in Rockville claimed to have a bomb.

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at the hearing that she thinks the Metro police force needs more officers. She says her department has been successful in driving crime off city streets, but that the violence has spread into the rail system.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)