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04 December 2005

papers. all passengers must produce their documents. photo identification must be provided.

The Denver Post (Colorado USA)
2 December 2005

Feds review
bus route's ID policy

By Alicia Caldwell
Denver Post Staff Writer

The federal security chief responsible for requiring public-bus passengers to show identification before entering the Denver Federal Center said Thursday that the policy is under review in the wake of the arrest of a 50-year-old woman who refused to produce her ID.

Deborah Davis, riding an RTD bus that goes through the federal campus, refused to show her driver's license at a security checkpoint and was arrested by federal authorities, an incident that has raised questions about the constitutionality of the requirement.

Steve Schaad, Rocky Mountain regional director for Federal Protective Services, said the incident has sparked an internal review, but he wouldn't speculate on what changes would result, if any.

Schaad, who is responsible for assessing security needs of federal facilities in his jurisdiction, said the bus route through the federal center, which houses federal-records archives and other federal offices, presents a unique circumstance.

"With that situation, we are working hard to ensure that people can use public transportation in balance with our security considerations," he said.

Producing identification is part of the matrix of measures he has deemed necessary to secure the sprawling campus.

He wouldn't say how checking the ID of a bus passenger makes the facility safer.

"Those are things we probably don't want to discuss for security reasons," Schaad said.

However, incidents such as the one resulting in Davis' arrest prompt a thorough review and reassessment of security procedures, Schaad said.

An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Davis called the ID requirement public "obedience training" that appears to have no legitimate security purpose.

"I think it's one of those things that creates the illusion that the government is doing something," said Norm Mueller, a Denver lawyer who volunteered to take on Davis' case through the Colorado ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union].

Benjamin Gonzales -- deputy regional administrator for the General Services Administration, in essence the Denver Federal Center's landlord -- said he supports the policy of ID production.

Changing the policy to require ID production only from people leaving the bus and entering the campus would pose logistical problems, Gonzales said.

That would mean security officers would have to be posted at the bus stops or follow the bus as it goes across the Lakewood campus.

Regional Transportation District buses pass through the federal campus 39 times a day.

Dropping the policy of ID production was out of the question, said Gonzales, who added that while he doesn't create security policy at the center, he is consulted on such matters.

"Would I entertain changing that? The answer is no," he said. "That makes me feel comfortable. It's not an imposition on people. God only knows who's on the bus."

Staff writer Alicia Caldwell can be reached at 303-820-1930 or


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