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Ex-Marshal: Air Marshal Training 'A National Disgrace'

April 17, 2008  | 

Their mission is to protect airline passengers from acts of terror on U.S. flights. But in a special investigation, former and current air marshals told CNN that the number of marshals assigned to police flights is so low that the federal agency overseeing them has drastically lowered its firearms and psychological testing standards just so it can qualify new hires.

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Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

c1ogden @ 4/17/2008 4:00 PM

I suggested several years ago that they use off duty and retired cops on a per diem basis like the U.S. Marshals do. This would put a lot more agents on a lot more flights for a lot less money than hiring more incompetent full timers. Then we can work on getting competent managers and sensible policies.

allenmuma @ 4/17/2008 8:08 PM

I was told by a TSA official that less then 1% of flights currently have Air Marshals on board. I too believe that we should be using current and retired LEOs to bolster the security on domestic flights. I flew to Chicago last week with another officer and we were the only armed LEOs on the flight, on the way back there were three of us. Why not offer discounted fares for LEOs to fly.

jareeder @ 4/18/2008 6:04 AM

I have a very close friend, retired Fed, who worked for TSA/Air Marshals in a supervisor role after his Fed retirement. He resigned due in part to how screwed up the agency is. He was torn at the time of leaving out of loyalty to the troops who he describes as good dedicated people, and his disgust with the managment and how the service is run. It's sad that this is the case, it's been this way from the beginning, there have been several other investigations and some former employees have written articles and at least one book but nothing is being done. When another 9/11 happens, the fingers will start to point all over again.

adrian stroud @ 4/18/2008 8:09 AM

Unacceptable! Again, why are seasoned police officers not recruited?? I have cop friends that went through the hooplah to be Air Marshal's and were lied to about the salary, benefits, etc...Have we leaned nothing from 9/11? Allow cops (without all that red tape) to carry on any flight that they are on.

tgis81 @ 4/18/2008 10:19 AM

I too agree to allow LEOs to carry on flights as long as they are carrying their dept creds. HR 218 already allows us to carry throughout the United States. I can see why it may have been a problem before HR 218 with all the differences in local/state laws... but now that we have a federal law allowing LEOs concealed carry, then why not? Maybe it is something that could be written in to the now federal statute. Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) was the one who pushed HR 218 through. Maybe we could get their interest and help to better secure our nation's flights.


ROB ROY @ 4/18/2008 4:06 PM

AS USUAL WE CAN'T TRUST OUR GOVERMENT TO TAKE CARE OF BUISNESS. With all the red tape and a** kissing nothing ever get's accomplished.

jascap @ 4/20/2008 10:42 AM

Amen to what c1ogden said. Use retired Police Officers, either on salary or per diem. But of course our great government won't do that. There will be another 911. Not if but when. Sad but true.

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