WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro’s newly composed board of directors is debating the transit agency’s random bag inspections but has not made any changes to the policy.

During a meeting Thursday, new board members Kathy Porter of Maryland and Tommy Wells of the District of Columbia both said the board should ensure the searches are reasonable. Others said stronger security was long overdue.

Metro’s Riders Advisory Council has called for a halt to the searches.

Metro chief Richard Sarles defended his decision to begin bag inspections. He says it was based on recent arrests tied to bomb threats against Metro, heightened holiday security and because bag checks were already being conducted in New York and Boston.

Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn says they are no more intrusive than what is required to enter area museums.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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