U.S. Transportation Security Administration determines TriMet camera records are security sensitive

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Agency committed to security for riders, employees, public

TriMet has an extensive network of security cameras – more than 4,400 system wide. These cameras are a vital tool in providing security for our riders and employees. The security cameras deter crime by helping to identify, catch and prosecute those who commit a crime on our system.

Recently, television station KATU submitted a public records request for maintenance and repair records for all security cameras on the TriMet system. TriMet denied the request because the agency considers the documents Sensitive Security Information (SSI). KATU then filed a Petition requesting the Multnomah County District Attorney to order the release of the records. Today, the District Attorney denied KATU’s request based on findings by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that the records are SSI.

In situations like these TriMet reaches out to our national transportation leaders for their expertise and guidance. Because the TSA determined the records to be SSI, federal law prohibits TriMet from disclosing the documents to unauthorized parties.

What is Sensitive Security Information (SSI)?

Sensitive Security Information (SSI) is related to security activities, and in the judgment of government entities – in this case the TSA – disclosing the information to the public would be detrimental to the security of transportation. SSI is governed by Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 15 and 1520.

A network of security cameras

TriMet crews inspect and maintain our security cameras on a regular basis. As the cameras are mechanical devices, there may be times a camera fails. We have multiple cameras on each vehicle and platform; in fact, our newest buses are equipped with eight security cameras.

Providing safe and secure transit service

TriMet is dedicated to providing a safe public transit system. In this circumstance, releasing the requested records would not only violate federal law, it would jeopardize the security of our riders and employees, as well as the security of the entire transit system.