A debate has ensued between TSA agents/screeners and airport police, stemming from a pair of attacks on airport security checkpoints in which TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport and New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport were killed or wounded. Screeners are alluding to these incidents as irony: unarmed government employees tasked with protecting passengers, crews and people without firearms or other weaponry, minus a screening machine.
The screeners’ union is lobbying for legislation to create an armed TSA force, but in the meantime, they are asking that airport police officers be posted at all TSA checkpoints to serve as deterrents. Airport police are not in agreement, saying that posting a uniformed officer in a fixed position is like painting a target on his/her chest. (But, isn’t that what TSA agents/screeners are: uniformed officers in fixed positions?)
Those against arming TSA screeners indicate that it will lead to chaos in emergency situations as there would be two armed forces with two different chains of command and two chiefs. However, those in favor of arming TSA agents indicate that at least they would be able to defend themselves, should the need arise.