It seems like everybody these days wants to get on the homeland security gravy train, including, curiously, a small transit authority serving the San Gabriel Valley near Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authorit, a tiny non-profit agency geared to providing rides to the disabled, has:
On its website, the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority lists its address as 148 E. Lemon Ave. in Monrovia. The location is Homer's Auto Service, an auto repair shop. A transit authority bus was parked in one of its driveways, but nothing on the storefront indicated it was a headquarters for the agency. Inside, a young woman, who declined to give her name, said she was a dispatcher for the transit authority. She telephoned someone she said was an agency official, who declined to be interviewed.
According to the website, the organization also has its own police department with a chief, detectives and marked police cruisers. Sheriff's investigators said Eriksson told deputies that he was deputy commissioner of the department's anti-terrorism unit. But Monrovia Police Chief Roger Johnson said he found that the department is less than meets the eye. "I don't know if they have a police department to go with the website," he said.
Why did this tiny agency have a police department with a anti terrorism unit? And what the hell were they doing investigating a car accident?
In a brief interview, transit authority board member Yosuf Maiwandi said Eriksson had helped the police department's anti-terrorism unit with camera technology for the paratransit vehicles. Eriksson's civil attorney, Ashley Posner, is chairman of the transit authority board. Posner declined to comment; Eriksson's criminal attorney did not return calls seeking comment.Why would this agency have a police department? Further, why would it have homeland security officers? Occam's razor says that these guys were lying and that they were called by the driver of the Enzo and flashed fake badges. The small-town sherrifs thought that they were helping out some CTU-like agency and preventing the terrrists from winning.
Officials in cities where the agency does business said they didn't know why a small transit authority needs a police department. "We do not see the need for a ground transportation system for handicapped and disabled folks to have a police agency," Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa said. "We warned them that if the police agency operated with them in the city of Monrovia, it would jeopardize their [transit] agreement with us."