New Security Forces Patrolling Yerushalayim Bus Stops

An Egged bus driver is seen through the front window of the bus, while the bus window reflects the front, Jerusalem. April 14 2010. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90. *** Local Caption *** ??????? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ??????
An Egged bus driver is seen through the front window of the bus, while the bus window reflects the front of the Central Bus Station, in Yerushalayim. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Dozens of private-sector security officers have taken up positions Sunday at bus stops around Yerushalayim. The officers, said Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, will play an important role in the prevention of terror attacks. “Proper security work by trained personnel can do a great deal to minimize the threat from terrorism,” Katz said at the Yerushalayim Central Bus Station Sunday as he inaugurated the program. “A civilian security corps that can concentrate solely on bus safety will go a long way to increasing the confidence of passengers and citizens in general.”

The idea for the corps was hatched last month, after several attacks by Arab terrorists at bus stops in Yerushalayim. In recent weeks, police have launched a campaign urging people to be more vigilant and report any suspicious activity that they observe – and Yerushalayim residents, especially those waiting for buses, have been very responsive, inundating police with reports that need to be followed up on.

Now, some 300 security officers will be on duty in the mornings, and during afternoon and evening rush hours, keeping an eye out for suspicious objects, people, behavior, or anything else that needs to be investigated.

Speaking to the officers, Katz told them that they were involved in extremely important work, because bus travelers – who wait for long minutes in the outdoors, exposed to passing cars and people – are among the most vulnerable people in the city. “Your mission is to act with determination and responsibility,” Katz said. “You must act with determination to prevent acts, but do so responsibly, ensuring the safety of all, to as great an extent as possible.”