Illinois starting truck-related terrorist watchdog program

| 9/6/2006

“Operation Desert Snow” is coming to Illinois.

That’s the name of a new anti-terrorism program that will train police in the state to spot possible terrorists in trucks out on the highway.

According to The Associated Press, the $145,000 taxpayer-funded state program will show Illinois State Police officers how to conduct detailed roadside interviews, identify suspicious trucks and figure out if there are hidden storage compartments onboard.

The week-long course is the same one attended recently by 110 Pennsylvania State Police officers. Corporal Wayne Kline, a public information officer for the Pennsylvania State Police, said that since completing the course, they haven’t caught any terrorists driving trucks – but the training has come in handy.

“Three days after the class, one of the participants in the class actually stopped a U-Haul with, I believe, 33 or 34 kilos of cocaine in it,” Kline said.

According to Kline, training is also available to help officers spot potential terrorists in 4-wheelers. However, he says the Pennsylvania State Police haven’t received that training.

– By Reed Black, staff writer