WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is marking the one-year anniversary of the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport with a renewed call for enhanced safety procedures to protect federal employees and the flying public.
One year ago on Nov. 1, a gunman opened fire inside a terminal at LAX, fatally shooting Transportation Security Officer Gerardo Hernandez and injuring two other TSOs and a civilian teacher.
“Officer Hernandez gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country, leaving behind a wife and two children. He was the first officer to die in the line of duty in the history of the Transportation Security Administration, and we must honor his memory by ensuring that he is the last,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
In the wake of the shooting, TSA implemented several new protective standards at the recommendation of AFGE and others. But there is more to do to ensure the protection of TSOs and airport visitors, Cox said.
“Last year’s shooting was a tragic wake-up call for the nation. TSA has taken some positive steps to standardize the law enforcement presence at checkpoints and ticket counters, ensure safety equipment such as radios and panic buttons are in working order, and train employees on how to respond to active shooters, but much more needs to be done to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred at LAX,” Cox said.
AFGE believes TSA needs to implement the following safety recommendations:
In addition, AFGE strongly supports passage of the Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act (HR 4026), introduced by Rep. Julia Brownley of California, that would provide TSOs with the same death benefits that federal law enforcement officers receive.
“TSA was created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and since then our federal officers have prevented another airline attack from occurring on U.S. soil,” Cox said. “They’ve done their job on behalf of the American people, and they deserve to know that they will be protected in return.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.