U.S. Lawmakers Review Post-Shooting Safety Recommendations for LAX
More than four months after a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport left one TSA agent dead, others wounded and passengers terrified, a congressional hearing was held Friday to review recommendations for security improvements at LAX.
An LAPD officer and her K-9 leave after making a sweep of the re-opened Terminal 3 on Nov. 2, 2013, a day after a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. (Credit: Getty Images)
This week, the Transportation Security Administration called for increased police presence at airport checkpoints and ticket counters during peak travel times, as well as more active shooter training and other measures.
The agency's review of the Nov. 1, 2013, shooting at Terminal 3, in which TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez was fatally shot, allegedly by gunman Paul Ciancia, was issued Wednesday.
Last week, a review of the shooting from LAX officials detailed communication lapses between public safety agencies and with the public.
The two reports were discussed at a 1 p.m. hearing at the airport held by the House Committee on Homeland Security's transportation security subcommittee.
Hernandez's wife sat in the front row at the hearing, and lawmakers met privately with her.
Rep. Maxine Waters, whose district includes the airport, said communication flaws identified in the reports need to be fixed immediately.
"They have the money to do it. Resources are not a question. We expect them to be done yesterday, and we will be checking up on them," Waters said outside the hearing.
The American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents TSA officers and other federal employees, wants lawmakers to go further than the recommendations in the reports. It has advocated for a new unit of armed, uniformed officers within the TSA.
"We're all in agreement that there needs to be law enforcement at every checkpoint … I think where we disagree is who should provide that law enforcement," said J. David Cox, the union's president, in an interview.
TSA Administrator John Pistole, Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey and airport police Chief Patrick Gannon appeared before the subcommittee, as did Cox.
The hearing was intended to allow members of Congress to review the findings of the reports and "discuss potential changes to emergency response protocols at airports nationwide," according to an advisory from subcommittee chairmen.
No action was taken.