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Tenn. Congressman Wants To Eliminate Air Marshals

February 25, 2012  | 

The president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) said he was appalled by Rep. John Duncan's (R-Tenn.) latest call to eliminate the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS).

During remarks on the House floor earlier this month, Rep. Duncan called FAMS "the most needless, useless agency in the entire federal government."

He then added, "Talk about a soft, easy job. All these people do is ride back and forth on airplanes, back and forth, back and forth, mostly in first class."

Duncan made the remarks to the House Committee for Homeland Security on Feb. 15. The congressman has been a proponent of eliminating the $860 million in annual funding to the agency.

"FLEOA takes strong exception to the faulty reasoning put forth by
Rep. Duncan," Adler said in a statement that also called the remarks inflammatory.

Duncan has criticized federal air marshals in the past, even posting a video of similar remarks make in 2009 on his YouTube channel, called "Wasteful Air Marshal Service."

Then, and now, Rep. Duncan criticized the service for its low arrest numbers and quoted a 2008 USA Today investigative story that questioned the effectiveness of the air marshal service that was beefed up after 9/11.

"What he fails to understand is that the federal air marshals have been a formidable force for deterring violent crimes on airplanes," Adler said. "The low number of arrests is actually to their credit, and demonstrates the positive impact the FAMS has on air travel safety.

By Paul Clinton

Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Steve Egger @ 2/26/2012 7:45 PM

duncan's an ASS!

Lee @ 2/27/2012 6:33 PM

Like any LEO, they are not paid for what they do, they are paid for what they might have to do...Duncan is a true ass...I

Tom Ret @ 2/27/2012 6:59 PM

Arrest stats should not be the only determining factor in whether to retain the sky marshals. It is probably impossible to accurately quantify the deterrent effect the marshals have on prospective skyjackers. The job which admittedly is a cushy one most of the time, would be a lot less
cushy if something does go wrong at 30,000 feet.

FireCop @ 2/28/2012 4:41 AM

Like most other politicians, once the event (9/11) is long forgotten, the need for being proactive goes away. Why waste money on something that might prevent another major incident when it is always better to save money to pay for the catastrophic costs resulting from these incidents. I hope this guy and his beliefs are remembered at the next election...if not, shame on the voters. Be safe.

Chris Hennon @ 2/28/2012 5:37 AM

I guess I am the only one that agrees with him. These guys are a waste of my hard earned money. Since 9-11 the airport has been so beefed up that now even more, their existance is a burden to tax payers. Its not just them though. A bunch of federal paid "Police" out there are usless. In Northern VA area we have the Metro Police that most of the time stand around at the metro entrance in large groups. Like they are having roll call there or something. They do nothing to make their presence known on the trains, and most of the crime happens on the trains. They should go to NY and learn how its done by the NYPD, who are always on the train in uniform. Tired of the waste, espeically on these types of agencies.

LeRoy @ 2/28/2012 6:18 AM

I partially agree with the congressman. Let's do away with the Sky Marshall's and instead, properly train and arm all members of all flight crews!

ChiefTom @ 2/28/2012 6:42 AM

Perhaps we should take advantage of thousands of active and honorably retired LEOs who are authorized to carry firearms and fly Americas airways daily. Free protection and deterence.

Greg @ 2/28/2012 6:44 AM

It seems that some value convenience over security and make, like the congressman, unsupported statements concerning effectiveness. Can both the TSA and Air Marshals be run more effectively. Of course. Is the mission they carry out important and necessary? Absolutely. And LeRoy you have the premise that all flight crews would want to be armed or have the wherewithal to perform well in deadly force encounter. Such is not the case. I will take a highly trained law enforcement professional in a deadly force encounter thank you very much.

The Bronze @ 2/28/2012 8:25 AM

Being a FAM is a horrible job unless you have no life and really like being on airplanes and in airports. I found my old job as local law enforcement to be much better. Like many Federal Agencies there is very little accomplished. There has to be a better way to secure airplanes but I don't have the answer.

Fed Cop @ 2/28/2012 8:26 AM

I know a person who was a FAM. He said it was fun at first, but was never home. He lived in Seattle, but his home base was Wash DC. The only time he went home was when he BOUGHT his own RT ticket to fly home. He had no weekends with the family. He would fly home, take leave, then fly back to DC. He said he didn't know anyone who flew out of the "home", unless they moved there. Also there was no assurances that you would stay in one area.

Fed Cop @ 2/28/2012 8:29 AM

One other think. What the Feds can do is authorize ALL currently employed LEOs to fly armed. They could augment the FAMs. The only requirement is to complete the familiarization training now available through the FAMS to be certified to fly armed.

Joe @ 2/28/2012 11:21 AM

Eliminate politicians like this asshole and eliminate his big paycheck. He just sits on his fat ass everyday in DC doing nothing. What a jerk off!

Tom Ret @ 2/28/2012 11:41 AM

If the representative wants to start reducing our national debt I would
suggest starting with canceling the proposed soccer field at Gitmo. The cost is reported to be $750k.

jim @ 2/28/2012 12:38 PM

The biggest waste of money is congress. What have they done except nothing.

Daryl Allen @ 2/28/2012 3:41 PM

I don't want to see the Air Marshal Service be deleted. Yes, they do fly around on board aircraft from point to point and back again. But how many of you want to go through their training and then all the 99 percent boredom/1 percent adrenalin rush that they go through? It may seem easy but it isn't. Keep them going!

LEONARD MCCARTHY @ 2/28/2012 5:14 PM

I would really like to see Duncan "justify" his job and not worry so much about having the law enforcment presence.

M @ 2/29/2012 8:42 AM

Everyone wants protection and other services but no one wants to pay for them. Duncan is a typical stuffed shirt dipshit and all LEO's should write him and let him know his anti law enforecement rhetoric is unwarranted.

Steve @ 4/3/2012 9:26 AM

Duncan is right. The FAMS as it's run today are a huge waste of taxpayer money. FLEOLA has been stroking Bray's ego for years so what are the complaining about?

Matt @ 10/13/2012 8:27 PM

As a real Federal Agent, I will say that air marshals are not really considered law enforcement by my peers. I do believe however that the program has value.

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