The other day, a friend told me about an unpleasant, confusing encounter with an MBTA search at Davis Square. Coincidentally, I had also just heard about other searches at Red Line stations.
In my friend’s case, he was traveling with his boss, from another country, who didn’t understand what was going on. He thought they didn’t actually have to comply with the search, which just made the police more aggressive. It all turned out OK: they swabbed his backpack for explosives and eventually let him through, but he wondered, “Where are they getting the money to this, in this economy?”
In light of this Globe article, Cities cutting police work, it’s a good question. The police do have the right to conduct searches in the MBTA, but is it really making anyone safer, and is it the best way to spend scarce dollars?