SEPTA, Philly airport step up police presence in the wake of Brussels attacks

Police and rescue teams are pictured outside the metro station Maelbeek in Brussels

Police and rescue teams are pictured outside the metro station Maelbeek in Brussels

Travelers in the region should expect to see more police officers than usual Tuesday as SEPTA and others are stepping up patrols in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

At a news conference, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel would not say how many extra officers he’s deploying, but said commuters will notice more police at bus, train and trolley stops.

“They’re going to see a lot of smiling transit police officers,” he said. “Smile back. We’re all safe.”

Nestel is also asking passengers to call police if they see something suspicious, such as an unattended bag or briefcase.

“No bag is beyond suspicion” he said. “I know that folks are reluctant to call 911 because they think that they’re burdening the police or bothering the police. Bother us. Call 911.”

While there is currently no specific threat to the U.S., similar precautions are also being taken at Philadelphia International Airport.

“Our passengers should expect to see more visible law enforcement presence in and around the airport,” said spokeswoman Mary Flannery.

More than 30 people were killed and more than 150 wounded in the Tuesday morning attacks on an airport and metro station in Brussels.

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