WASHINGTON – In response to the machete attack on Transportation Security Administration officers at the New Orleans International Airport, J. David Cox, Sr., National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, representing 45,000 TSA officers across the country, issued the following statement:
“We are sickened by the mindlessness and ferocity of this attack on TSA officers. TSOs go to work every day to keep our nation safe from violent individuals who look to inflict harm on the flying public. All too often, TSOs become the targets of violence themselves, both verbal and physical.
“As we learned in Los Angeles, and now in New Orleans, TSOs and the passengers they protect need greater law enforcement support at the checkpoint and other key locations. Only then can we hope to prevent another tragedy, or stop it before people are injured.
“For years, AFGE has advocated for a new law enforcement unit within TSA, specially trained and armed to respond to such attacks, and for other safety measures at screening checkpoints. We applaud the response of law enforcement officers who ended yesterday’s attack in New Orleans, but many other airports are not prepared to respond as quickly or as effectively.
“Last night’s attack is a sad reminder of what more needs to be done to keep the flying public safe. AFGE wishes a swift recovery to the brave officers involved, and our union will keep fighting to make our airports a safe place to work and travel."