Parking lot attendants training to fight terror
The next time you pull into a parking garage and the attendant gives you the once-over, he or she may be taking note of more than just the shiny rear spoiler on your new car. As part of a new government initiative, parking lot attendants and other transportation workers are being trained as the next line of defense in the fight against terrorism.
The First Observer program was introduced to parking lot professionals at a Las Vegas, Nevada, convention in May, days after a vendor in New York’s Times Square spotted a suspicious vehicle and helped thwart what could have been a deadly terrorist attack…
“No matter how banal it seems, if something seems different to you or suspicious, we want you to report it,” said Jeff Beatty, a former CIA and FBI agent.
And our government will tell you what is suspicious!
Beatty led the First Observer program’s pilot training session Monday in Atlanta, Georgia. He and a team of Transportation Security Administration officials trained some 60 parking lot officials and representatives on how to spot suspicious vehicles carrying hazardous materials or other activity that may signal the planning phases of a terrorist attack…
The training is part of a $15.5 million program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and administered by the Transportation Security Administration…
“We like who you are as parking lot professionals. We want you to ‘observe, assess and report.’ “
Any innocent act can be deemed suspicious in the eyes of a bureaucrat governed by fear. Fear of terrorists, fear of people who look different, fear of people whose thinking doesn’t fall into official pattern recognition.
Our federal government is incapable of understanding the difference between neighbors keeping an eye on things next door when the family is away for a picnic – and spying on a garage band that dresses funny. That’s not especially new. Governments seem to have that problem forever.
What stinks is when paranoia becomes institutionalized. When peering under your bed at night becomes part of education, law and policing.