All inbound and outbound Metra Electric and South Shore trains were halted as a result of the suspicious package report at “track level” at the Van Buren Metra Station.
Chicago Police say Metra trains between Columbus and Michigan were halted and Jackson was temporarily closed to traffic from Columbus to Michigan.
The suspicious package on the platform of the Van Buren Metra station was reported at 6:50 a.m., and the Chicago Police Bomb and Arson brought in a canine unit and cleared the package at 8:20 a.m..
No injuries were reported and Metra service has resumed.
On September 27, emergency crews responded to a report of a suspicious package left on a bench on the northeast corner of Wells Street and Wacker Drive in Chicago's Loop, which turned out to be a box of shoes.
The United States Department of Homeland Security "If You See Something Say Something" campaign originally debuted on the New York City Metra Transit Authority in 2003, and eventually was extended to all train stations nationwide.
When budget cuts occur in cities across America, funding for emergency responders training, drills and exercises are usually the first to go. While drills and exercises are costly, they are the only way to measure preparedness levels for disasters and terrorist attacks, except for actual incidents.
Therefore, responses to suspicious package reports should not be viewed as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Better safe than sorry.