[Source: Lisa Halverstadt, Arizona Republic] — Anyone who plans to ride the light rail for the first time Saturday will be hard-pressed to avoid police officers, security guards, and volunteers, no matter which stops they visit. For months, the Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa police departments have been working with Metro light rail to plan for at least 150,000 people and the security concerns that inevitably follow.
Police say they expect the light-rail kickoff to be a fun day with few problems but just in case something does happen, they must expect the worst. They’ve spent months planning for it. So before the event ever begins, bomb dogs will sniff around the light-rail cars and planned party locations. Teams from the Transportation Security Administration, some of them armed, will arrive to assist officials in Phoenix. Arizona’s Department of Liquor License and Control will prepare to be on the prowl. Police in Mesa, Phoenix, and Tempe will be prepared to communicate with one another throughout the entire event. An estimated 700 to 800 volunteers will ready themselves to spend hours answering questions about the light-rail system. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]