Topics: Labor Unions

TSA employees' union calls for arming agents

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Will the Transportation Security Administration officers patting you down at the airport before you board a plane be armed as well? Their union is pushing for that now.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. called for an "armed presence" at screening areas, following the Nov. 1 shooting death of a TSA agent at Los Angeles International Airport:

AFGE is committed to ensuring that a tragedy like this never happens again. But the sad truth is that our TSA officers are subject to daily verbal assaults and far too frequent physical attacks while performing their security duties.

We want to make sure we are doing everything possible to secure screening areas at our nation’s airports. At this time, we feel a larger and more consistent armed presence in screening areas would be a positive step in improving security for both TSOs and the flying public. The development of a new class of TSA officers with law enforcement status would be a logical approach to accomplishing this goal.

We pledge to work with TSA and Congress to explore all proposals to make our airports safer.

In a Nov. 5 interview on Federal News Radio, David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees, said: "We're advocating for a new class of officer who is trained as a law enforcement officer, has a weapon, has arrest authority and so forth to protect those checkpoints."

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