Amtrak employees have a responsibility to report suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities.
But according to the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Justice, some transportation employees (including Amtrak employees) have been participating in a poorly-managed Drug Enforcement Agency program that pays “tipsters” for information with very little accountability.
But the report indicates that the DEA is as interested in cash as it is in drugs, thus potentially leading to questionable searches. It’s well-known in the train-riding community that such incidents happen frequently in certain places.
Balancing passenger safety with the needs of law enforcement is a tricky proposition at best. But this balance needs to be decided upon in the light of day.