Press Release

American Alliance of Airport Police Officers

Looking Ahead to New Leadership at DHS

The AAAPO congratulates Kirstjen Nielsen on her confirmation to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  

DHS faces a critical juncture in this heightened threat environment. The dangers here at home are widespread and many, especially at our nation’s airports, which continue to be symbolic prizes to those seeking to cause terror and chaos. 

AAAPO is hopeful that Nielsen will refocus DHS’s TSA on its primary objective of screening travelers and bags, and support commonsense safety precautions such as stationing a police officer near TSA screenings, ensuring that airport police have real-time accessibility to CCTV footage and supporting the screening of all airport employees.

Transportation safety is critical to the overall safety of our nation, and AAAPO looks forward to working with Nielsen to improve the security apparatus at our country’s airports.

“As police officers who patrol some of the busiest and most terrorist-targeted airports in the nation, we are confronted with threats on a daily basis and have a unique point of view on how to help improve security,” says Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association and co-founder of the AAAPO. “We are hopeful that in her new role, Secretary Nielsen will give careful consideration to the recommendations of local airport law enforcement officers on how to mitigate and prevent threats at airports.”

“DHS and all citizens must continue to stay on the offensive, and one way to do that is to enact smart and effective security policies — like the ones mentioned above — at our airports,” says Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association and co-founder of the AAAPO. “As we have seen too often, international threats often foreshadow threats here at home. We must preempt these threats with effective security for our nation’s airports, which can be hotbeds for potential attacks.”