With the public demand to reduce federal costs and the increased risk of terrorist in our airports and on planes we need to find a way to provide additional airport and aircraft security. One quick and easy method to remedy this is to use our armed forces in plain clothes as additional U.S. air marshals. They are already there, highly trained, and on the federal payroll. We can accomplish this by shifting military police and commandos from bases overseas that don’t allow us to operate (some NATO countries for instance), or that are just sitting there as prevention. Yet, we have multiple long range bombers and aircraft carriers to strike immediately with soldiers at main bases throughout the world for initial emergency operations. Additional funding can come about by selling all those “goodies” that are confiscated at airports which are not allowed on planes, but we never-the-less keep trying to take them on (unopened food, knifes, liquids, etc.).
Training and Deputizing as Air Marshals
All branches of our forces have military police units. By simply assigning a small portion to learn federal police laws, and customs classes, they would be prepared to assist in airports. They are highly trained with small arms and hand to hand combat. After successfully completing courses in federal laws about arrest, search and seizure, along with civil rights they could be deputized temporarily as assistant air marshals.
They then can supplement other plainclothes airport police and on-board air marshals to increase coverage of air flights. This additional police presence in airports and onboard aircraft can greatly reduce the chance of terrorist attacking them by publicly announcing this policy, but not which airports or aircraft are involved. Those service members would gain valuable experience for future full-time federal police jobs-coming in with basic proven skills. Thus, the air marshal service will have a great pool of next generation air marshals to select from—trained and experienced.
The bottom line is—the more police we have, the better are chances at catching terrorist in airports and subduing them on board aircraft. The cost is minimal as they are already there trained and on salary. Besides, the public will feel safer!
Sale of Airport Confiscated Items
Funding for additional training in civilian criminal and civil rights laws can be paid for by the sale of prohibited items confiscated at airports. Those “goodies” are tossed and wasted in the trash. All non-perishable items could be sold every month publically at airports at next to nothing. That cash could in turn pay for the training of these extra officers.
Conducting the sales at airports could be done by senior citizens who want to stay involved socially and help out their communities. They could be sold in the evenings during the low number of flights. Surely, we can spare one TSA agent to supervise the sale and collect the money. Perhaps we could have probationers getting the items and setting up the airport “yard sales.”
As recent surveys show, we need more security at airports. We have lots of highly trained professionally armed men and women who have already sworn to protect our country. Additional training costs could be borne by selling confiscated items at airports. This will also increase military recruitment into our armed forces by those selecting this path as a future civilian job. Seniors or probationers could sell them with no labor costs. The terrorist would know we have additional 1000-5000 fully armed and combat ready uncover federal police agents in our airports and on board planes. Finally, the general public would feel much safer flying.
Dr. Kuch holds a PhD, MA, and MS in criminal justice. He has written about a variety of police issues focusing on drunk driving. His current research is about preventive terrorism policies. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey and is on the adjunct faculty at Galatasaray University.