Press Release

Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association

Airport Police Union Renews Call for 100 Percent Passenger and Employee Screening After Flight Attendant Caught Smuggling Cocaine

LOS ANGELES, CA – On Friday an airline flight attendant left two carry-on roller bags behind loaded with over 60 pounds of cocaine after she was pulled aside by Transportation Security Administration officers for a random screening in Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminal 4.  After the TSA officer directed the suspect to a location for her to be screened she was left unattended and witnesses stated that she made a cellphone call, kicked off her shoes and ran from the terminal down the up escalator.  Soon after the LAXPD was contacted for an unattended bag and after further investigation it was determined by Airport Police that cocaine was in her luggage.

Flight attendants and other crew members are not normally subjected to searches, but this is a perfect example of why Los Angeles airports need 100% screening of all passengers and airport employees.

The former LAXPD Chief of Police, Patrick Gannon, claims, “there is no way that you are going to have the ability to screen every single person that comes to work in the airport.” However, it can be done—Miami International Airport and Orlando International Airport screen all of their employees. Miami has screened approximately 38,000 employees since 1999. Total employee screening is realistic and achievable and it should happen here at LAX.

LAX is the top west coast terrorist target and has been the site of airport employees smuggling drugs aboard aircrafts and other criminal activities. 100% screening has the potential to stop an “insider” or “lone wolf” terrorist attack and to help decrease the opportunities for airport employees to commit crimes.

“The weekend’s incident reinforces the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association’s calls for an airport police officer to be stationed within 300 feet of the TSA screening checkpoint,” said President Marshall McClain. While airport police officers are charged with patrolling an entire massive airport terminal, having an officer dedicated to being within 300 feet of the security area ensures that an officer is immediately available to respond to issues at the screening station which is the last line of defense in keeping unwanted items off of planes and ill-willed individuals from getting access to planes. Further, screening all airport and airline employees, and the items they bring to the airport, is a feasible and practical solution to fortifying security at our nation’s airports. Just like traveling passengers, airport and airline employees should undergo the same screening to help decrease the opportunities for these employees to commit crimes and to help eliminate “insider” or “lone wolf” criminal activity. It is long overdue that both of these recommendations be implemented.”