Michael Dykes of Alabama drives a semi for AAA Cooper Transportation. He is also a spy for the federal Transportation Security Administration. Dykes is among 200 drivers and members of the Alabama Trucking Association trained by state troopers to spot terrorist activity, reports the Birmingham News. The training is funded by Homeland Security.
The truck drivers report suspicious activity such as people hanging around bridges who don’t look homeless; people with suspicious-looking baggage and strange vehicles on the road. The drivers call a special contact number to make their report. The American Trucking Association is negotiating a $19.2 million contract with the TSA to train more truck drivers across the nation. But first the association must get all state trucking associations to sign on to the program. Alabama is among 35 state trucking associations that have the program. Under the contract, 7,300 more drivers in Alabama will be trained using $220,000 from the security administration.