Transportation Security Administration K9 teams conduct Spokane Transit patrols www.privateofficer.com
Spokane WA June 16 2013 Two uniformed federal officers, a Transportation Security Administration K9 team and two STA officers will be roaming the STA Plaza and park and rides throughout the county Friday from noon to 7 pm. It’s all part of TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response, or the TV-drama-worthy acronym VIPR.
Officers will board buses “to familiarize themselves with the number of people and the configurations of the buses,” says STA spokesperson Molly Myers, but officers won’t be riding or delaying any routes. The partnership between STA and TSA for these types of random operations started in 2010 when the U.S. figure skating championships were last held here, Myers says, but she won’t elaborate on the goals of the operations or what TSA agents will be looking for. She also wouldn’t say which park and rides the officers will visit.
TSA wouldn’t confirm the Spokane operation, but in an email spokesperson Lorie Dankers says, “VIPR teams are designed to enhance security by working in mass transit, aviation, rail, maritime and other transportation modes alongside state and local law enforcement agencies during major events or as a random deterrent.”
TSA has conducted thousands of the operations across the country and has come under some fire, though Myers says one of the most controversial aspects — bag checks — won’t be happening in Spokane Friday.
“Hopefully [riders] take this as positive sign that security and safety our number one priority,” Myers says. Her only advice? Don’t pet the dogs.
LONDONDERRY NH June 15 2013— A former top officer with the Transportation Security Administration was arrested on child pornography charges after items were seized from his locker at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
Miguel Quinones, 38, of 67 Whittemore Ave. in Manchester faces 10 felony counts after he turned himself over to police on an arrest warrant Wednesday, according to Londonderry police Lt. Timothy Jones.
A video and more than 1,000 images of child pornography were found on Quinones’ personal laptop computer and three thumb drives stored in his airport locker, Jones said.
Quinones was a lead transportation security officer who had worked for the federal agency since August 2002, according to TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis.
Davis said TSA suspended Quinones without pay in January after being told he was under investigation. He was terminated Wednesday, she said.
“TSA will continue to hold our employees to the highest ethical standards,” Davis said in a statement, “and we will move swiftly and decisively to end the federal careers of any employee who engages in illegal activity.”
Sgt. Thomas Grella, commander of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said Quinones had been under investigation for more than a year, but could not comment further on the case.
Police were notified by the task force Jan. 2 that Quinones voluntarily turned over his computer and thumb drives, Jones said.
Each possession of child pornography is a Class A felony punishable by seven and half to 15 years in prison, Jones said.
Quinones was arraigned Wednesday in 10th Circuit Court in Derry and ordered held on $25,000 cash bail. He is being held at the county jail in Brentwood.
AUSTIN TX June 13 2013 – Police arrested two men in separate incidents June 10 for bringing guns into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
An arrest affidavit says Transportation Security Administration agents found a pistol inside the bag of 61-year-old Lowell Smith of Burnet.
Hours later, they arrested 49-year-old David Shimek, after finding a semi-automatic handgun in his carry-on bag.
Both men told authorities they had forgotten they had the guns in their luggage.
Bringing a gun into the airport is a third degree felony.
CHEEKTOWAGA, NY June 12 2013 – A day after a Rochester man was stopped by TSA officers with a loaded gun at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport last Thursday, a woman also showed up at the airport with a gun the very next morning on Friday June 7.
When TSA officers saw the second gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, they again contacted Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, who, like the previous day, responded to the checkpoint.
The woman, who was originally ticketed to fly to Phoenix, was permitted to catch her flight—minus the starter pistol. There was no impact to airport operations.
As a reminder, weapons—including realistic replica weapons—are not permitted in carry-on baggage.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items,” said Derek DePietro, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Buffalo. Travelers can be fined up to $11,000 if they are caught with prohibited items at the airport.
Passengers can review the prohibited items list on the TSA homepage or they can download the free MyTSA application from the TSA homepage. The TSA web site and the MyTSA app have a “Can I Bring?” feature that allows users to type in items they plan to bring on a trip to get an explanation of TSA’s security policies for the item, including whether the item can be taken in carry-on luggage through the security checkpoint, packed in checked baggage, both, or neither.
There was not a sense of panic, it was more of an urgency,” evacuated passenger Kimberly Stevens said outside the airport. “The cop came through and said everyone needs to exit the terminal.” A section of the airport’s parking garage reopened around 7:55 a.m. That allowed some passengers to return to their cars and leave the airport, CBS 6 reporter Jerrita Patterson said.
“You try not to be frustrated, you know, what’s your alternative here,” passenger Jim Lovell said. Lovell and his family were planning to fly to Hawaii. “There is a 99 percent chance this is a hoax, but what about the one percent? We don’t want anyone to get hurt. The ground personnel is doing a great job.”
Atlanta AirTran Airlines employee used security clearance to smuggle drugs, cash and weapons www.privateofficer.com
Atlanta GA June 11 2013 An AirTran Airlines employee has been accused of using his airport security clearance to smuggle drugs, cash and weapons past TSA checkpoints.
According to federal prosecutors, authorities learned that Rasondo Maurice Norris, of Stone Mountain, was acting as a mule, carrying contraband into the airport by bypassing security lines.
An undercover U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agent approached Norris, 29, and offered him upwards on $600 to ferry unauthorized materials around TSA agents checking carry-0n and personal baggage of passengers going to flight gates, authorities said.
First, Norris was presented with what he believed to be a backpack filed with five kilograms of cocaine, court officials said. A second time, the undercover agent paid Norris to ferry what represented $500,000 in drug money past security.
On the final occasion, Norris was given a bag containing what he believed to be a sub-machine gun along with an ammunition magazine and a silencer. After bypassing security each time, he was paid between $600 to $800 by agents each time.
He was subsequently arrested.
“Security screening at our airports is vital to keeping citizens safe,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “By using his credentials to bypass security with backpacks of contraband, the defendant allowed what he believed to be drugs and weapons on board commercial flights. Public safety is a responsibility we take seriously, and our office will continue to prosecute those who are endangering our citizens.”
Norris faces life in prison plus 40 years as a maximum sentence for the two federal counts of attempting to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute for which he has been charged. A $15 million fine is also possible, federal authorities said.
He is scheduled to go before a federal magistrate judge on June 12 at 1:30 p.m., for a bond hearing.
Source- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Orlando FLA June 8 2013 A woman escorting a passenger to a flight at Orlando International Airport was arrested Thursday morning for carrying a loaded handgun through security, records show.
A Transportation Security Administration officer discovered the .380-caliber pistol in a purse about 10:50 a.m. during a routine examination of carry-on bags, according to TSA spokesman Jon Allen.
The woman, who was not identified, was turned over to the Orlando Police Department for arrest, records show. The woman was escorting a passenger to a departure gate, according to TSA.
The small pistol loaded with hollow-point ammunition was the 18th firearm seized this year at the airport. Last year, TSA officers seized 40 guns at the airport which ranked 7th overall in guns confiscated at U.S. airports, records show.
“Weapons—including guns—are not permitted in carry-on baggage,” according to TSA. “Individuals are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint and TSA’s advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. Individuals who bring firearms to a checkpoint face a civil penalty.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. June 7 2013 – A Rochester man was stopped at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Thursday morning with a loaded gun.
The Transportation Security Administration says the man was stopped by officers after the officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine spotted a loaded gun in the man’s carry-on bag. TSA contacted the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police who responded and cited the man on a disorderly conduct charge.
The FBI confiscated the .380 caliber handgun, which was loaded with six rounds. There was no impact to airport operations.
The man was originally ticketed to fly to Orlando, but missed his flight and was permitted to rebook on a later flight without the gun.
SARASOTA FL June 7 2013 – The TSA’s role could change soon at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. SRQ has been approved to hire a private firm to conduct security screenings at the airport.
Currently, TSA handles that. However, soon it will be the TSA’s responsibility to monitor the work performed by the private company.Airport officials say hiring a new company will provide better customer service.
Passengers we spoke to say they look forward to the changes.
“I think it’s going to help it. I think it’s great they’re trying something a little new, and I welcome it,” said traveler Jay Holden.
“I’m hoping it’s for the better. I hope they keep most of what’s in place in place, and then add more as needed,” said traveler Janet Stanley.
It could take more than a year before the private firm is hired. Recently, Orlando-Sanford Airport was approved for the change as well.
LOS ANGELES CA May 31 2013 – There’s a new breed of airport dog. They aren’t looking for drugs or bombs – they are looking for people who need a buddy, a belly to rub or a paw to shake. “His job is to be touched,” volunteer Kyra Hubis said about Henry James, her 5-year-old golden retriever that works a few hours a week at the San Jose airport. “I am just standing there with him. They are talking to him. If I need to answer for him, I do. But I am at the end of his leash, he’s not at the end of mine.” Mineta San Jose International Airport is widely credited with introducing the first airport therapy dog in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, when flights were grounded, passengers were stranded and reaching friends and relatives in the East was nearly impossible. Passengers were anxious and afraid. Enter Orion, owned by a volunteer airport chaplain who got permission to bring the dog to work. He made such a difference that San Jose formalized the program and now has nine dogs. Miami International Airport got onboard the program with one and Los Angeles International Airport has 30 and is hoping to expand its program. The dogs are intended to take the stress out of travel – the crowds, long lines and terrorism concerns. You never know why people are flying, said Heidi Huebner, director of volunteers at LAX, which launched Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUPs) in April. Travelers might be in town for a vacation, a funeral, to visit a sick family member or to attend a business meeting. “You can literally feel the stress levels drop, people start smiling, strangers start talking to each other and everybody walks away feeling really, really good,” Huebner said. Dogs have to be healthy, skilled, stable, well-mannered and able to work on a slack 4-foot leash, said Billie Smith, executive director of Wyoming-based Therapy Dogs, Inc., which certifies the LAX animals. They have to be comfortable with crowds, sounds, smells – and they need to pass through security like all airport workers. Handlers are taught to watch for people who fear or dislike dogs or those who might have allergies. In most cases, people approach the dogs, identifiable by the vests or bandannas they wear.
Los Angeles’ dogs, which are featured on trading cards, are as varied as its airport passengers. There’s a long-haired Dalmatian, a Lab-pointer mix, a field spaniel, a poodle, three Australian Labradoodles, a Doberman and a 150-pound Irish wolfhound named Finn who has two tricks. “He looks you in the eye and lays down on the job,” said owner Brian Valente. “When I’m around Finn, it makes me feel like things are OK. When Finn’s around other people, they are OK. It’s almost instant, even if just for a moment,” Valente said. Miami’s sole dog, Casey, a 4-year-old golden retriever, is a star. She has her own website, fan mail, business cards and a role on “Airport 24/7: Miami,” a weekly reality show on the Travel Channel. “Casey is so pure and genuine,” explained Dickie Davis, director of terminal operations and customer service. “She’s not asking for anything or selling anything. She is just a love magnet.” When Claudia McCaskill’s family recently flew home from vacation in Brazil she requested Casey meet the plane to greet her 5-year-old daughter, Carina, who is autistic. She knew Carina would be low on energy and patience and they still had a 2.5-hour drive home to St. Lucie. Casey and handler Liz Miller were there with a gift basket and Carina fell in love with the dog. “Thank you for visiting us at the airport so I would be happy,” Carina said in a video the family made for Casey. Now Carina wants to go back and see Casey again. “I can’t say how much we appreciate what they did for us. It not only helped our daughter, but us too,” McCaskill said. Despite all the smiles, there are also hard moments. Before departing from San Jose, a soldier kneeled down and told Henry James: “OK, buddy, you take care of the house while I am gone,” Hubis said. A woman who said her husband of 40 years told her he wanted a divorce that morning wept on Henry’s shoulder. “He just sat there,” Hubis said. “He knew. He can feel.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. May 30 2013 — Police say a Radcliff, Ky. man was causing such a disturbance at an airport checkpoint that he had to be tased.
According to an arrest report, it happened on Friday afternoon at the Louisville International Airport.
Police say 50-year-old Stephen Heinrich came through the security checkpoint and got into an argument with a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer. That TSA officer called for a supervisor. When Heinrich also got into an argument with the supervisor, an off-duty officer approached Heinrich in an effort to calm him.
Police say his actions were “causing alarm to other passengers.”
The off-duty officer allegedly told Heinrich to calm down or he would have to leave. Heinrich allegedly told the officer he didn’t have to listen or comply.
When the officer tried to turn him around, police say he “squared up” to fight. The off-duty officer then used “loud verbal commands” to get on the ground, but Heinrich allegedly refused. At that point an “altercation” ensued, police say, and the officer began striking Heinrich’s mid-section with his knee.
When the knee strikes were ineffective, the officer said he used his Taser.
Heinrich dodged the first taser strike, but was soon struck in his chest. That Taser strike was ineffective, according to police.
“I went back to delivering knee strikes until Airport Police arrived to assist,” the off-duty officer wrote.
Heinrich was subdued and arrested. He was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault.
The off-duty officer received minor scrapes, according to the arrest report.
PORTLAND OR May 28 2013 – Passengers on a flight from Anchorage to Portland had to restrain a man with shoestrings and seat belt extensions after he attempted to open an emergency exit, witnesses said.
Flight 132 was about to land Monday morning when the man set off an alarm by pulling the door handle, said FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele.
“Passengers and crew members interviewed by Port of Portland Police Officers said the man made unusual statements prior to the incident, and then attempted to open the door,” Steele said.
“The lights were out and I awoke to a loud hissing and then lots of screaming,” passenger Ryan Oelrich told KREM-TV. “I thought maybe the plane was going down.”
“The woman next to the passenger said ‘Somebody please help,’” witness Henry Pignataro added. “I put him in a choke hold and brought him down to the ground.”
Pignataro said he and another man held down the passenger, later identified as 23-year-old Alexander Michael Herrera, and asked the flight attendants if they had any restraints. He said they brought three sets of shoelaces, which Pignataro and the other man used to bind Herrera’s legs.
The flight attendants then brought extra seat belt extensions and the witnesses used those to further restrain Herrera, Pignataro said.
Pignataro said Herrera was then put into a seat “where he was surrounded by big guys” and sat calmly until the plane landed safely.
Port of Portland security guards escorted him off the plane and he was arrested.
Herrera was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center, and will likely appear before a federal magistrate in Portland Tuesday, Steele said.
The plane landed only nine minutes behind schedule.
Washington DC May 26 2013 The TSA announced a dubious record this week, reporting that it had seized 65 firearms at airport security checkpoints.
The seizures buried the previous mark of 50 guns, the TSA reported, and included 54 loaded weapons — 19 of which at rounds chambered.
Among the seizures was a firearm strapped to the prosthetic leg of a male passenger at Salt Lake City International Airport.
Authorities said the passenger received a pat-down after an anomaly was detected during advanced imaging technology screening.
During the pat-down, officers discovered a fully loaded .22 caliber firearm inside the passenger’s boot and strapped to his prosthetic leg.
The man was arrested by Salt Lake City Airport Police on a state charge of “carrying a concealed weapon in a secure area.”
The transportation lobbying group AAA estimates that 2.3 million travelers were expected to fly during the Memorial Day weekend.
“TSA also seized a dozen stun guns, a couple of inert grenades, some ammunition and a few razor blades,” The Inquisitr reports. Are you surprised to hear that people tried to board flights with these items?
The 54 loaded guns at airports in the U.S. were confiscated which is a positive. TSA says that they release this information because it is important for passengers to know — but they do warn that finding items like loaded guns and razor blades certainly slows down the security process.
“Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested,” TSA wrote on their website.
The 54 loaded guns at the airports this week and the other items confiscated are a reminder that people will still try to bring illegal items onto flights.
SACRAMENTO, CA May 24 2013 —United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sentenced Harold E. Waller, 46, of Circle, Montana, today to three years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for attempting to board an aircraft with a concealed, dangerous weapon, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, in March 2012, Waller drove from Montana to Sacramento. On March 22, he purchased a one-way ticket to Alaska at the U.S. Airways counter for the same day. Waller proceeded to the security checkpoint, placed three bags on the table near the X-ray belt, and waited his turn to proceed through individual screening. Waller removed his jacket, revealing a shoulder holster containing a gun. Shortly thereafter, a Transportation Security Administration employee screening the bags identified a gun in the first bag to go through the X-ray device. Waller acknowledged the bag with the gun was his and said that there were more guns in the bag. A search of Waller and his bags demonstrated that each of the three bags contained a loaded gun and significant amounts of ammunition, loose and in clips. The gun in the shoulder holster, a Smith & Wesson 9mm, model 6906 handgun, was loaded. Waller admitted he knew he had the weapons, knew they were loaded, and knew he was not supposed to transport them through the checkpoint or have them on the plane.
To sentencing him to three years, Judge Mueller varied upward from the Sentencing Guidelines recommendation in the case, noting the seriousness of the offense and the danger to the public posed by Waller. Judge Mueller noted that Waller continued to downplay his action, characterizing it as a mistake. “This court gives great weight to protecting the public,” Judge Mueller said. “The public could have been seriously harmed.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to the mission of keeping our airports safe for everyone. While Mr. Waller fortunately stopped short of drawing his weapons, his case is a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks bringing guns on an airplane might be a good idea. We would like to thank the alert TSA screeners who identified and stopped Mr. Waller before anyone was hurt,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner.
“Harold Waller’s willful intent to board a commercial aircraft with concealed, dangerous weapons, putting the safety of many people at risk, is chilling,” said Manuel Alvarez, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento Division. “The Transportation Security Administration and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department played important roles in ensuring that Waller was unable to board an aircraft. We all must continue to work together to preserve the safety of American citizens.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Daniel S. McConkie prosecuted the case.
LITTLE ROCK, AR May 23 2013– A friendly conversation with a stranger suddenly becomes an attempted kidnapping case at Clinton National Airport in Little Rock.
According to police, a two-year-old boy was walking back from the bathroom on the concourse with his aunt when 19-year-old Marivel Salazar reportedly approached the two, saying ‘hello’ to the little boy.
“She did what a lot of people do, they talk to the young children they encounter,” said Sergeant Cassandra Davis of the Little Rock Police Department. “Then things suddenly snapped.”
According to officers’ reports and witness accounts, Salazar grabbed the little boy and began running down the concourse toward the airport baggage claim.
“I heard just terrible screams. As a father, I knew that wasn’t fake, the little boy was screaming for his life,” witness Dave Edmondson told us by phone. “The mother was screaming that she [Salazar] was trying to kill her child.”
Edmondson had been roughly 150 feet away, only at Little Rock because of an emergency landing.
“As a father, my instincts just kicked in and I tried to intervene,” he said. “I’ve been wondering why I was even there.”
According to Edmondson he found Salazar lying on top of the boy, apparently smothering him.
“I’ll never forget the look on that child’s face,” Edmonson said. “I had to help him. So I may have gotten a little rough with her”
Edmondson was able to strong arm the boy away from Salazar and return the two-year-old to his mother. Police arrived shortly therafter and restrained the woman.
Edmondson and the police report state Salazar was screaming “Jesus protect my family. Jesus protect the children.”
Another witness caught the aftermath and screaming on video.
“It was alarming. And disturbing. She didn’t look like she would be a threat. She looked like anyone you might see at the airport,” said witness Keith Carpenter, who provided the cell phone video. “Thank goodness they had a group of family members there to try and intercede and cause a ruckus to get help from other bystanders.”
Once police had taken Salazar in for questioning, they said she continued to talk to herself and God. Officers determined she should be evaluated for psychiatric conditions. She is under observation at UAMS.
“In this case, the family was close by and paying attention,” Davis said. “A lot of times it’s easy to get distracted in public, especially at the airport. In reality, you can’t. They screen your bags and personal items at security, but they can’t screen someone’s mental state.”
At Clinton National Airport on Wednesday, travelers were unaware of the incident the night before.
“In today’s kind of the world how it is you want to always be watching out for your kids,” said father Jeremy Arnhart, who was traveling from Anchorage, AK, with his two children. “Bad things happen that you never expect to happen to you or anyone else. But I think if you look out for your kids, and others look out for them, you’ll be okay.”
According to Little Rock police, Salazar remains in medical custody at UAMS. She has not been charged with a crime at this point. Little Rock police had no knowledge of Salazar having a prior record with their department, nor are they certain she’s from Little Rock. She was ticketed for a flight bound to Texas before the incident.
The little boy, police say, is apparently all right.
Loaded gun found at Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport www.privateofficer.com
Hebron KY May 23 2013 A Kentucky man was arrested at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after security officers found a loaded gun in his carry-on bag, officials said Tuesday.
After Transportation Security Administration officers spotted the weapon at the security checkpoint Monday, they contacted airport police, who confiscated the .380-caliber handgun, which was loaded with six rounds. The man, a resident of Union, was originally ticketed to fly to Atlanta. He was arrested and will face a state weapons charge.
“There was no impact to airport operations,” a TSA news release said.
The release excluded the man’s name. Attempts to obtain the man’s name and other details from airport police were unsuccessful Tuesday. The airport police referred reporters to Boone County Attorney Robert Neace, who oversees prosecution of criminal cases in Boone County. Neace said he had not yet been briefed on facts of the incident.
However, Neace said he sees a handful of similar cases each year and that “almost always” they involve a person who simply forgot that the weapon was inside the bag. If there had been anything more sinister detected, authorities at the airport likely would have charged the man with a federal crime, Neace said.
TSA issued this reminder to people in light of Monday’s incident: Weapons, including guns, are not permitted in carry-on baggage. “TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items,” the release said, noting travelers may be fined up to $11,000 if they are caught with prohibited items at the airport. In 2012, TSA assessed more than $1.8 million in civil penalties for firearms discovered in passenger carry-on bags.
Firearms are allowed in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared, TSA said. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure, TSA said, adding that airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
Palm Beach Fla May 22 2013 A man was arrested today at Palm Beach International Airport after security officers found a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.
Source-palm beach post
Guns seized at Salt Lake City airport so far in 2013 nears mark for all of 2012 www.privateofficer.com
Wichita KS May 21 2013 A mistake in disaster protocol resulted in passengers being turned away from Mid-Continent Airport’s storm shelter as a tornado approached Sunday, airport officials said Monday.
The terminal basement, which is divided into separate spaces during a tornado for security reasons, could have been opened up to more passengers. Instead, passengers were informed the basement was full, said Brad Christopher, the assistant director of airports.
Between 500 and 600 passengers were trying to take cover, he said. Airport officials did not know how many passengers made it into the basement.
“Our officers did say that the basement was full up, and we made an announcement on the PA that the shelter was full,” Christopher said. “At the same time, we also called a supervisor in dispatch who told them … to open the gate up and let everybody down there, into much more room that we have available.
“But by the time that happened, and the wheels started turning to make that happen, the warning was over.”
Christopher said the airport’s procedure is to punch in a code when a tornado warning is issued.
“All the lights open up and a gate in a hallway automatically closes and turns it into a non-secured area,” he said. “That’s always been enough, but the number of people exceeded what we have available in that situation.”
Some passengers were redirected to other safe interior areas in the terminal, Christopher said, and others declined to seek cover.
“We don’t force people at gunpoint downstairs,” he said. “There’s always been some who linger upstairs, be it a phobia, lingering on the edge or waiting for the roof to come off before they take shelter, I don’t know.”
One of the passengers turned away from the shelter, Jamil Malone, said he and his family were awaiting their flight for vacation when the tornado approached.
“It turned as dark as night, and then the intercom told us to take shelter,” Malone said. “We were walking past security, where there were a lot of people standing, when the intercom announced that the shelter was full, and we should seek out additional safe areas away from windows. There were a lot of people trying to seek shelter.”
Malone said he and his family were watching the storm approach on an airport bar television.
“As most Kansans do, we saw the storm approaching and literally jumped to the bar, grabbed our last drink and stare and watch,” he said.
The storm wasn’t visible from the airport, Malone said.
“I don’t know what I saw,” he said. “In the bar, they have the TV right next to the window, and we were watching it as the tornado approached, watching what they were pointing at.
“And it continually gets darker and darker, and then comes the hail and the rain. It felt like nighttime, it was so dark in there.”
Malone praised the work of airport security getting the passengers to shelter.
“It was what you’d expect when you have a lot of people in one place in imminent danger,” he said. “You’d expect people to get out of control, but looking back on it, my family was really quite amazed how the security got everyone to cover.”
When the new $101.5 million, two-floor Mid-Continent terminal opens in early 2015, the new building will have a 6,000-square-foot tunnel connecting to the current 30,000-square-foot basement, enough room for 5,000 people, Wise said. Source-Kansas.com
By Dana Treen
Morris News Service
JACKSONVILLE FLA MAY 19 2013 Gunfire erupted Wednesday afternoon in a crowded parking garage at Jacksonville International Airport as police tried to apprehend a car-theft suspect.
Police wounded one assailant, took another in custody and are hunting for at least a third.
It started about 2:20 p.m. with an investigation of a May 7 auto theft. Police were tracking a suspect and followed a Ford Crown Victoria that he and others were in to the airport. When officers attempted to stop them in the car rental return area, the driver rammed two police vehicles and another car.
One of the officers, identified as nine-year veteran and SWAT member Edward Rogers, shot the car three times with his AR-15 rifle as they drove off, said Chief Tom Hackney.
A Times-Union reporter, who was at the airport to catch a plane for vacation, said he heard several shots being fired. He then saw a car crash into several other vehicles and chased by a police SUV.
A description of the car led officers to the Monaco Arms II apartment complex near Highlands Elementary School, which was placed on lockdown as a precaution. A 17-year-old, shot in the ankle, and a 27-year-old were arrested at the apartments, Hackney said.
Their names have not been released; however, police said they are still looking for 20-year-old Rodney Lorenzo Addison, who is wanted in the May 7 car theft.
In that case, two men fled police and one was caught with cocaine in his possession. Addison has since been named as the other suspect.
On Wednesday, police located him in the Crown Victoria in the 6500 block of Norwood Avenue leading them to the airport. Inside the garage the car stopped in what Hackney described as an “odd” spot and the driver got out, as if he was checking to see if he was being followed.
Police decided to make the arrest and blocked the car. The driver backed into one police car, struck another and began backing away. Hackney said the officers were lucky not to have been hit. Rogers opened fire.
Hackney said though it is a heavily trafficked area, there were not a lot of bystanders. Because the danger and intentions of the assailants were apparent, the decision was made to shoot.
“The public safety was at risk,” the chief said. “That’s why deadly force was used.”
Hackney said it was not clear if those in the car were armed with guns. He said there may have been a fourth person who was also on the loose Wednesday afternoon.
Addison was released from the Duval County jail in April after serving 17 months on auto theft, fleeing and traffic charges.
Hackney said police will provide an update at an 11 a.m. news briefing Thursday.
Aircraft departures and landings were not affected, said Debbie Jones, community relations administrator for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. The parking garage and other parking areas remained open with the exception of the rental area.
Rodney Lorenzo Addison, wanted since Wednesday’s police-involved shooting at Jacksonville International Airport, surrendered at the Police Memorial Building Friday.
Addison, 20, is charged with auto theft, possession of cocaine, fleeing and attempting to elude police, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
A police report said police had an arrest warrant for Addison — part of an earlier car theft case — when officers in unmarked vehicles followed a stolen Crown Victoria to the airport. Police said Addison was behind the wheel of the vehicle, which was stolen May 9, when it rammed an unmarked Sheriff’s Office vehicle inside an airport parking garage.
SWAT member Edward Rodgers shot the car three times with an AR-15 rifle. The vehicle hit two civilian cars before taking off.
A 17-year-old boy who had been in the car at the airport and was shot in the ankle is cooperating with police and hasn’t been charged. Police said the teen initially called 911 from Highlands Elementary School — about a block from where the car was later found — and reported he had been shot by unknown people but soon recanted.
Another man is also being sought but has not been identified.
St Louis MO May 19 2013 Police took a man into custody after he was accused of stealing luggage from the airport baggage claim area at a local airport.
Police said Tjuan Thompson, 26, has been charged with stealing after he made two trips to the Lambert Airport baggage claim area in just 24 hours.
Airport police received two missing luggage reports and using surveillance video, they were able to locate Thompson. He was arrested as he was attempting to steal a third piece of luggage after going back to the airport just a day after the first trip.
Court documents indicate that when he was caught in March, he was wearing a jacket and watch that one of the victims had reported stolen that previous day.
They say luggage theft isn’t something that happens often but it can happen in crowded public areas.
Lambert officials say video cameras and mobile patrols play a key role in safeguarding passengers’ property.
Lambert Airport spokesperson Jeff Lea said “there are also non-uniformed officers that are here.
Whether it’s just patrolling or whether it’s a specific detail to try and catch someone. In this case, we did have extra attention because we got that report and were able to find that guy within about 24 hours.”
Police say Thompson confessed to stealing all three victim’s suitcases from the carousels.
He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Indianapolis airport security guard left concourse unprotected during fire alarm www.privateofficer.com
INDIANAPOLIS IN May 16 2013 – A new security guard left his post unattended at Indianapolis International Airport during a fire alarm, prompting his security access to be suspended and forcing police to conduct a sudden security sweep of an entire airport concourse.
It started when a fire alarm started ringing near a restaurant, but when police responded on Saturday after 11 p.m., they found the passenger exit to Concourse A was entirely without the required guard.
Guards are required at all times that an airport is open in the spots where passengers walk out of the secured area for arrival and departure gates. They’re intended to prevent people from walking into the secured gate areas without going through screening by the Transportation Security Administration .
As the fire alarm was ringing, airport police said they looked around and couldn’t locate the guard who was assigned to the Concourse A exit. He was later located walking back to his post through a bypass that connects concourses A and B.
Officers reviewed security video and they wrote in their report that he had actually left his post twice, leaving the exit without a guard for at least four minutes.
The 51-year-old security guard was employed by Securitas, which has the contract to cover that guard position and others throughout the airport. He had only been on the job two months, having been issued his security badge on March 15, police said.
The ordeal prompted a Securitas supervisor to immediately relieve the guard of duty, suspending his security access card.
Police then started a full security sweep of the entire concourse that had been left unguarded. The five airport officers also swept the U.S. Customs area, but they reported finding no evidence that anyone had entered the area without being screened.
Police said that when they asked the security guard why he had left his post, he told them that he had no idea what to do when the fire alarm was going off.
The Indianapolis Airport issued a written statement, pointing out that it happened during an actual fire alarm, and highlighting that overlapping security helped to protect passengers.
The statement, from airport spokesman Carlo Bertolini read:
“This incident occurred during a time when an actual fire was in progress and its scope was not yet known to all personnel, creating short-term challenges to routine airport operations. However, the multi-layered approach to airport security, which includes video surveillance and law enforcement vigilance, functioned as designed, including during the brief time when a guard left the immediate area of the concourse exit during the confusion caused by the fire alarm.”
Securitas, which is based in suburban Atlanta, did not respond to requests for comment or the current duty status of the guard.
TSA will reimburse supervisory security officers for professional liability insurance costs www.privateofficer.com
Washington DC May 16 2013 In a reversal of policy, all TSA Supervisory Transportation Security Officers (STSOs) are now eligible for reimbursement of up to one half of their cost to obtain professional liability insurance, says the Federal Managers Association.
As required by law, agencies across the federal government provide this reimbursement to managers. Thanks to this revision in policy, STSOs no longer carry the entire burden of paying for this insurance, which some consider necessary for their line of work.
Supervisory Transportation Security Officers at TSA are now eligible to receive congressionally-mandated professional liability insurance reimbursement, thanks to a ruling earlier this year by TSA Administrator John Pistole.
The Federal Managers Association (FMA), whose TSA members were affected by the previous policy, worked tirelessly for this change and applauds TSA’s decision, according to a news release issued by the FMA on May 13.
Upon learning that STSOs are now eligible to receive reimbursement, FMA National President Patricia Niehaus remarked, “This is a great day for national security and America’s traveling public. STSOs are on the frontlines and willingly put themselves in potentially dangerous situations. They are also constantly interacting with the public in stressful circumstances. STSOs need professional liability insurance to perform their vital jobs with peace of mind. TSA did the right thing to help their employees make the responsible decision to get this insurance.”
FMA says it led the effort to review TSA policy when STSOs were originally excluded from receiving reimbursement. The Association, working with its chapter members at Newark Liberty International Airport, met with congressional leaders, staff and senior level officials at DHS, sent numerous letters and made phone calls urging a review and reversal of the policy, as applied within TSA.
Pursuant to public law, all federal agencies are required to reimburse law enforcement officers and supervisors or management officials up to one half of the cost of professional liability insurance. This insurance is critical, said the FMA, because it provides coverage for actions taken in performance of an employee’s official duties that may result in a civil action and/or expenses for administrative and judicial proceedings that may result from conduct within the scope of employment.
STSO’s work with the public and subordinates exposes them to both personal and professional liability and TSA’s ruling is consistent with congressional intent, the news release contubnues.
Niehaus added: “STSOs are dutiful public servants who are dedicated and passionate about protecting America’s traveling public and strive to be model employees of TSA. We thank them for their service and are pleased they are recognized with reimbursement for this crucial insurance. Our members look forward to working vigilantly with Administrator Pistole and all of TSA in the daily mission to protect our great country.”
Charlotte NC My 12 2013 The city of Charlotte is reviewing the size and cost of its police presence at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which has been a contentious issue in the fight over whether the airport should be run by the city or transferred to an authority.
The result could be fewer officers, resulting in a smaller security bill for US Airways and other airlines.
In November, the City Council voted to shift Charlotte Douglas security from airport control to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department – a change the city said was needed in light of the Delvonte Tisdale tragedy.
Tisdale, a Mecklenburg teenager, is believed by law enforcement to have breached airport security in November 2010 and climbed inside the wheel well of a Boston-bound US Airways jet. Tisdale’s mangled body was found near Boston Logan Airport, along the path where jets land.
The shift to CMPD increased police costs from $2.6 million annually before the transition to $5.5 million. CMPD has plans to increase staffing from 41 to 62 officers.
City Manager Ron Carlee said Thursday he is reviewing staffing levels and costs to see what’s best for the airport.
“With regard to police, this review would include roles and responsibilities, alternative approaches, and costs,” Carlee said in an email Friday. “This could result in a decreased role in CMPD.”
He said CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe is open to the discussion.
Monroe has said in memos that the airport was previously understaffed and that CMPD was needed to bring security in line with other so-called Category X airports, the nation’s largest.
But the transfer and increased costs upset aviation director Jerry Orr, who called the switch a “debacle” in one email. Orr believes that security was effective when under airport control, and that CMPD is adding unnecessary costs to the airport.
US Airways has also been concerned about the added costs, which are ultimately paid by the airlines that use Charlotte Douglas.
Carlee added: “There was conflict in the initial shift in responsibility to CMPD. I want to be assured that line-level operations are functioning at a high level.”
Shortly after CMPD took control of airport police in December, a bill was introduced in the N.C. General Assembly that would transfer control of the airport to an independent authority. The city has been vigorously fighting the bill, which has passed the Senate and is awaiting consideration in the N.C. House.
Orr has said publicly that he believes an authority is the best way to manage Charlotte Douglas. Under the bill being considered in the legislature, the authority would be able to hire its own police force.
Since becoming manager April 1, Carlee has tried to walk a tightrope in order to keep the airport under city control, or at least improve the bill under consideration.
Carlee said he has spoken with US Airways “daily” and has reassured the airline that it will play a large role in picking Orr’s successor.
Some council members were angry over Orr’s public support for an authority, and reportedly urged the manager to discipline Orr. Carlee has so far pushed back, urging restraint.
In reviewing airport security, Carlee appears to be working again to ease the concerns of Orr and authority supporters.
The city, however, has argued that CMPD has been crucial to improving airport security. In April it released a letter from the Department of Homeland Security, which praised the switch.
In a March 18 letter to Monroe, Delbert Richburg, an assistant special agent at Homeland Security, said his organization was “delighted” when he learned in 2012 that CMPD would be taking over security and that it has “not been disappointed.” Source: Charlotte Observer
Woman arrested, faces battery charges in attacks at Tampa International Airport www.privateofficer.com
TAMPA FLA May 3 2013— A Tampa woman arriving on a flight from Puerto Rico became violent and attacked employees and a Homeland Security agent Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Latrese Janelle Brantley, 39, was on a JetBlue flight from San Juan to Tampa International Airport when she began “acting irrational,” an arrest affidavit shows.
As she left the plane, two JetBlue employees approached to help. But Brantley became “argumentative,” pushing one employee and punching the other, the affidavit shows.
A Department of Homeland Security agent noticed the incident and tried to intervene. But Brantley then struck the agent, who sustained deep scratches to his head and face, airport police said.
The agent and some bystanders eventually pulled Brantley to the floor until airport police officers arrived to arrest her.
Brantley faces one felony count of battery on a law enforcement officer and two misdemeanor counts of battery.
She was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, where she was being held Wednesday on $3,000 bail.
Source- Tampa Bay Times
RENO, NV May 1 2013 – Police at Reno-Tahoe International Airport have arrested a Sacramento man accused of having fake ID.
The Transportation Security Administration says Friday afternoon, an officer with TSA was routinely checking passengers’ travel documents at the TSA security checkpoint. While checking the identification of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Oakland, the officer noticed the ID card did not have the usual security features and it appeared to be fraudulent.
TSA notified Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Police, who interviewed Deon Briggs and discovered he was in possession of a fraudulent Texas Driver’s License, two expired identification cards (in his true name) and seven counterfeit credit cards.
The fraudulent cards were confiscated and the passenger was arrested on seven state felony charges. In addition, the suspect is a convicted felon who is currently wanted in the State of California.