TSA's Security Role During the Recent Orlando Shooting

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

While TSA is mostly known for airport security, on November 6, the agency worked to assure the safety of the traveling public when a shooting broke out in downtown Orlando.

Local TSA officials in Orlando worked with Amtrak police to quickly provide information that led to halting all Amtrak and CSX train traffic throughout the Orlando area until the suspect was apprehended and the threat contained. This quick and coordinated response is a direct result of the strong partnership developed between TSA and Amtrak while planning for and conducting frequent Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team operations.

Comprised of Federal Air Marshals, TSA Surface Transportation Security Inspectors, Transportation Security Officers, Behavior Detection Officers and Explosives Detection Canine Teams, VIPR teams work with local law enforcement to supplement existing security resources and provide deterrent presence and detection capabilities. VIPR operations are done on a random basis in all modes of transportation.

"Over the past few months, we have built a strong working relationship with our security and law enforcement partners through coordinated local operations," said Orlando Federal Security Director John Daly. He emphasized: "The operational experience we have gained through these relationships proved very valuable in responding to an actual threat in our region."