WASHINGTON – Statement issued Saturday by the Transportation Security Administration on armed officers in airports:
The Transportation Security Administration is responsible for securing America's transportation systems. Our responsibility for aviation security extends from the perimeter of the airport through non-sterile and sterile areas, to checkpoints and beyond, in fact, to the successful conclusion of each and every flight.
The Transportation Security Administration was indeed involved in the response at LAX on July 4th and our personnel acted swiftly and responsibly. We immediately activated our nationwide communications network and provided information about the incident to Federal Security Directors and Interim Federal Security Representatives, as well as to our representatives in other transportation modes. We coordinated with other law enforcement agencies and our Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) were fully deployed.
This incident, even if isolated and regardless of motive, emphasizes that we cannot be complacent about any of the security measures that we put in place at our airports and at the other modes of transportation. TSA must continually reassess its security configuration and have our full force of both uniformed law enforcement officers and undercover criminal investigators in both the sterile and non-sterile areas of our airports and other transportation facilities. Had this event occurred at another airline counter without armed security guards, the situation unfortunately would have been worse.
Our criminal investigators will be in place to work to prevent these kinds of incidents from occurring by observing and identifying suspicious individuals, by intervening as appropriate and by containing such events to minimize their often tragic results.