By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A few weeks ago, KYW Newsradio reported that law enforcement sources in New Jersey suggested there would “more likely than not” be security screening for people crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge.READ MORE: Police: 3 Men Recovering After Triple Shooting In North Philadelphia
Those reports were vehemently denied by the Secret Service then, at least on the Philadelphia side of things. But it now appears there WILL be screening on the New Jersey side of the river.
The Secret Service denials addressed the efforts of their agency and the Philadelphia Police department, insisting there would be no screening of “papal visitors who are planning on crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge”.
The press release issued last month did not mention what might occur across the river in New Jersey and that is where the additional screening will occur.
A press release issued by the Delaware River Port Authority late Wednesday afternoon states “Pedestrians crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge and PATCO riders will be screened to ensure compliance with the prohibited items list”. That list, formulated by the Secret Service, prohibits a number of items from weapons to selfie sticks.
DRPA CEO John Hanson won’t get specific about how far his agency will go.READ MORE: Firefighters Battling 400-Acre Wildfire In Burlington County, New Jersey
“We’ve issued a prohibited items list that mirrors the Secret Service,” Hanson told KYW Newsradio, “and we will be making sure that people do not get on a train or get on the bridge with any of those prohibited items.”
Sources say DRPA officers will be used to check the bags of people getting on the bridge or a PATCO train. There will not be magnetometers used in the screening process.
“A condition of the use of the bridges or the PATCO line is allowing us to make certain that there are no dangerous items, nothing that jeopardizes the safety of the employees or of the riders or bridge users,” Hanson said.
Other sources suggest SEPTA will not take the same measures on commuter trains and mass transit as the DRPA, but officers will be on the lookout for anything suspicious and reserve the right to check what riders are carrying with them.
SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams, like Hanson, opted to keep security plans close to the vest. “Although we’re not going to be able to provide details regarding our screening process,” Williams said, “I can tell you that safety is our number one priority.”MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
The Secret Service was not available for comment on this report.