Making use of available resources, the Bush Administration is reorganizing its homeland security programs to make 5,000 agents available to fly on commercial airlines.
The air marshal’s program will combine with the customs and immigration security programs so all agents can be trained to provide security on airplanes when needed.
“Importantly, with this single move we will be able to deploy more than 5,000 additional armed federal law enforcement agents to the skies,” says Tom Ridge, homeland security secretary.
The administration received much criticism from lawmakers when it was learned that the Transportation Security Administration planned to cut its funding for the air marshal’s program and decrease the number of marshals in the air.
The air marshal's program will now move from the TSA to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.