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March 26, 2014

Training, Communications Must Improve After LAX Shooting

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after-action report on the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport on November 1, 2013 entitled Enhancing TSA Officer Safety and Security: Agency Actions and Path Forward:

I applaud Administrator Pistole for his extensive outreach to both public and private sector stakeholders following the tragic shooting. This consultation has resulted in concrete reforms that constitute a good first step toward making the traveling public and the Transportation Security Officers more safe and secure.

However, I have lingering concerns about the ability of TSA personnel to communicate with first responders during emergencies. As we learned last week from the Los Angeles World Airports report, first responders could still not effectively communicate on the day of the shooting, despite the investment of $13 billion since 9/11 towards achieving interoperable communications capabilities.

I look forward to hearing from Administrator Pistole regarding the reforms announced at the field hearing the Committee is holding at Los Angeles International Airport this Friday.

The report made the following recommendations:

  • Strengthen active shooter training for the frontline workforce and post minimum recommended standards for active shooter exercises.
  • Increase the number of duress alarms at airports and ensure functionality. times for police.
  • Adopt recommended standards for law enforcement presence at passenger checkpoints during peak travel times, as well as adopt maximum response
  • Extend the deployment of VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams to airports.

Link to Report

The field hearing on the TSA and Los Angeles World Airports reports will be held on Friday, March 28, at 1pm PDT at Los Angeles International Airport, Samuel Greenberg Board Room, Clifton A. Moore Administration Building. More information on the hearing, as well as webcast, can be found HERE.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978