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Transit system removes "suspicious" label for photography

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A New Jersey-based transit system has removed photography from its list of “suspicious activities," after receiving a letter from a…

A New Jersey-based transit system has removed photography from its list of “suspicious activities," after receiving a letter from a photojournalist advocacy group.

In a letter to Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, the New Jersey-based transit service said the language had been removed, and the Delaware River Port Authority is working to produce a policy regarding photography.

“In the near future, a photography, filming and video policy will be placed on our website and provided to staff,” the letter said. “This policy is in its final stage of review and included reviews of other transit agency guidelines.”

The PATCO website stated under a tab titled "What Should I Consider Suspicious?" that persons filming or photographing “passing trains, locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, rail yard operations, tracks, bridges, tunnels, commuter rail trains, subway trains, transit trains, stations and platforms” should be reported to authorities.

Ed Kisuba, director of corporate communications for the DRPA, said the purpose of that statement was to encourage people to report those who were taking photographs or videos of restricted areas or photographing or filming the station during odd hours.

“I guess it was hard to characterize that in a blanket statement,” he said.

Kisuba also said no member of the press has ever had an issue accessing PATCO facilities, and PATCO would continue to work with the media in the future.