WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- You expect to see them when you are at the airport, but what about at Union Station?
The TSA could be screening you without you even knowing it.
From the Super Bowl to the Inauguration to Union Station, if you're traveling, the Transportation Security Agency could be there, and they could be looking at you.
They are a special brand of the TSA, called "VIPR."
It stands for "Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response." VIPR has been around since 2005, and they are meant to boost security by being a deterrent, and detecting security risks.
WUSA9 asked the TSA what the qualifications are for becoming a TSA baggage screener versus being part of the VIPR program. We have not heard back.
WUSA9 Debra Alfarone walked around Union Station onTuesday nightwith our intern Marissa. They covered upstairs, downstairs, the Amtrak ticket counter area, the shops and the food court, and saw police officers but no one from VIPR.
They also asked TSA, can a VIPR stop someone, or do a random bag search? WUSA9 has not received a response to those questions, but they did send this statement:
"TSA began the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program in 2005 to augment federal, state, and local law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public.
TSA has deployed VIPR teams in all modes of transportation surrounding large events such as the Presidential Inauguration, State of the Union Address, United Nations General Assembly, and the Super Bowl. VIPR teams work at the request of local law enforcement officials to supplement existing security resources by providing deterrent presence and detection capabilities, and an unpredictable layer of security."
Several people WUSA9 spoke to outside of Union Station say they were unaware of the TSA's role at Union Station. An August 2012 report from Homeland Security says the TSA needs to better inform people of VIPRs existence.