Union Calls to Close Surveillance Loopholes at Airports After Scare at JFK

Union members say the lack of surveillance leaves local airports vulnerable

The American Alliance of Airport Police Officers has called on the TSA to require any entity with a closed circuit camera system at an airport to provide real-time access to airport police.

"This would allow police officers to have eyes in all locations across the airport," according to a statement released by the group. "And would be an essential part in keeping those we have sworn to protect safe."

The I-Team first reported that police did not have access to live camera feeds in Kennedy Airport’s Terminal 8 the night they were responding to reports of an active shooter.

According to the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, their desk officers can only see two live cameras at once. Both were not in areas that needed to be searched.

"The feeds are there, they are just not accessible to us," said Frank Conti, the union’s first vice president. “The officers on that police desk who are dispatching units to go into a dangerous area don't have those cameras to fall back on"

Conti said there are a few supervisors who have access codes to the other cameras, but they were not on duty that night.

In June, the I-Team exposed a similar problem, the lack of a unified security camera system in any of our three major airports.

Senator Charles Schumer who asked the department of homeland security to investigate after seeing our report, is also asking the Port Authority for a full debrief of how they responded to the reports of an active shooter.

The I-Team specifically asked the Port Authority about the camera access issue on Sunday night and their chief security officer Thomas Belford replied with a statement that said, in part:

"Video from last night’s incident at JFK is being reviewed by Port Authority Police detectives as part of the ongoing investigation. Otherwise, the Port Authority does not discuss specifics of its multi-layered security approach..." 

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