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Old 11-05-2012, 09:22 PM
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Do we need Air Marshals?

Here I am in a rare instance of watching local news as I crop and load photos. this evening, our local station featured a segment showing air marshals practicing close quarters combat, firing on mock plane sets and reviewing basic knowledge of what knobs and controls they might need to how to use in the cabin.

The story talked about how one interesting congressman is railing against the program and thinks that the money could be spent much better elsewhere at this time in the American economy.

My first thought was... wha? I fly quite a bit. I want to feel safe. Do we really talk about the cost of security.

Then I read what Congressman Duncan discussed (a couple of years ago) regarding the air marshal project and why he was for shutting it down.

http://duncan.house.gov/2009/06/22062009.shtml

This is an excerpt from that article:

In the Homeland Security Appropriations bill we will take up next week, we will appropriate $860 million for this needless, useless agency. This money is a total waste: $860 million for people to sit on airplanes and simply fly back and forth, back and forth. What a cushy, easy job.

And listen to this paragraph from a front-page story in the USA Today last November: “Since 9/11, more than three dozen Federal air marshals have been charged with crimes, and hundreds more have been accused of misconduct. Cases range from drunken driving and domestic violence to aiding a human-trafficking ring and trying to smuggle explosives from Afghanistan.''

Actually, there have been many more arrests of Federal air marshals than that story reported, quite a few for felony offenses. In fact, more air marshals have been arrested than the number of people arrested by air marshals.

We now have approximately 4,000 in the Federal Air Marshals Service, yet they have made an average of just 4.2 arrests a year since 2001. This comes out to an average of about one arrest a year per 1,000 employees.


So, what do you think of this program? Frankly, I'm not completely sure what to think and look forward to seeing some of you weigh in with your opinions.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:49 AM
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Maybe things wouldn't be so bad statistically, if they took more care when selecting candidates to become Air Marshalls?
The "cushy/easy job" comment falls flat.
Sure, a guy in a warehouse is probably going to work harder, but he isn't thinking about the possibility he'll never see his family again, every time he reports to work.
 
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:21 AM
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The "cushy/easy job" comment falls flat.
Sure, a guy in a warehouse is probably going to work harder, but he isn't thinking about the possibility he'll never see his family again, every time he reports to work.
Yeah, that comment was flat for me as well..... I guess that means we don't need every security guard in the country, either. Oh, and screening luggage ... that seems easy to me as well.

Some would say that being a congressman is cushy too....

I think that you've got a great point about the selection process.

I'm wondering about the aspect of deterrent as well... maybe the presence of the air marshals prevents the crimes that they'd arrest folks for.

Hmmm.....

One thought... why don't the airlines train and arm the flight attendants?
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:08 AM
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One thought... why don't the airlines train and arm the flight attendants?
Ninja style?
 
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:09 AM
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Yes. Ninja style....

"I said turn off your phone!!"

Hiiiii-yah!
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