TSA Officers from Bradley International Airport (BDL) were on security’s frontline at Southeastern Connecticut’s premiere summertime event. TSA BDL deployed some of its uniformed screeners to the three-day SailFest in New London, which typically attracts over 250,000 people and includes concerts, fireworks, amusement rides and vendors lining the streets.
This is part of TSA BDL’s efforts to deploy uniformed personnel to ports in the Connecticut/New York region. These employees make up what’s called a COBRA (Connecticut Operation by Response Agencies) team, comprised of federal, state and local agencies partnering to strengthen their capabilities.
The group was stationed at New London’s ferry terminal and included TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team from Boston, TSA law enforcement representatives, a New York-based TSA field intelligence officer, the National Guard, Connecticut State Police, Amtrak Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the New London Fire Department and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Using explosive detection canine teams and radiological detection equipment, these partners collaborated to help screen ferries and passengers. The ferry terminal is next to an Amtrak station, making this intermodal operation even more inclusive.
“COBRA continues to grow and garner positive attention as a best practice for protecting the travelling public,” said Connecticut Assistant Federal Security Director-Law Enforcement Steve Blindbury, who is the main coordinator of the COBRA operations, which are scheduled to continue periodically.
Connecticut Federal Security Director Williams Csontos added, “Large public events such as SailFest can be challenging in terms of the security of the participants, and by leveraging our partner agencies, we are even better equipped to deter and respond to anyone who may want to cause harm.”