Airport security proposal would boost public safety

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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released recommendations to improve security within airports, and two sources say the recommendations will have a limited effect in some ways but won’t result in longer lines at security.

After a November 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport left a TSA officer dead, the agency launched an investigation of airport security practices. Its report recommends increasing the presence of armed local police at airport security checkpoints and ticket counters. The report specifically rejects the idea of arming TSA agents, which would be expensive and inefficient, says Andrew Coggins, who is a clinical professor in the management department at Pace University.

“You’d have to raise TSA to another level,” he says. He also says that in a crowded environment, “you’d normally want to defuse the use of a deadly weapon,” so armed officers wouldn’t help.

Finding attackers’ deadly weapons would require checking every person who approaches the airport, says Ron Ferrara, who is the chairman of the aerospace department at Middle Tennessee State University.

In the past 10 years, four people were shot to death in airports, including one suicide.