TSA Wants Armed Police Stationed At Airport Checkpoints As Part Of New Security Measures

(frankieleon)

(frankieleon)

After a gunman opened fire at one of Los Angeles International Airport’s security checkpoints last November, the Transportation Security Administration has been weighing its security measures to find where the system can be improved. A new report from the agency recommends beefing up police presence with armed officers at airport checkpoints, as well as increased training across the board.

The TSA released a 26-page report yesterday outlining its new proposals, including one that would have armed law-enforcement officers on-hand to help agents guard airport checkpoints and ticket counters at peak times, reports USA Today. TSA agents are not armed, and rely on police support when the need arises.

TSA head John Pistole says the suggestions in the report come after a comprehensive review of the agency’s security, after the gunman killed a TSA officer and wounded three others during the November incident.

Other recommendations on the list of 14 items: More training for staff on how to deal with gunmen as well as improving emergency communications at airports, as police and security officers often use different radio systems. In the LAX incident, the report of a gunman was made on a cellphone and it took several minutes for police to respond.

“We have already taken action on some recommendations,” Pistole told TSA workers Wednesday in a note. “Based on input from employees and key industry stakeholders, we have been focused on mandatory training, improved communication systems and policies, and enhanced law enforcement presence.”

Getting police at every checkpoint might be something easier said than done, warns the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, who weighed in on the report during its development.

“I think in a perfect world if we had all the money and resources that would be great, but unfortunately these are going to have to be done on a calculated risk based on peak times and funding that is available,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s an agency that can afford to put police at every checkpoint,” he added. “You might see roving patrols.”

TSA wants armed police at airport checkpoints [USA Today]