- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The union for Transportation Security Administration workers said on Tuesday that it’s a good idea for some agents to carry weapons at the airport.

“Our officers are verbally assaulted every day, they’re physically assaulted far too often and they need better protection at those checkpoints,” said David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees, said in The Hill. He made the comments while discussing the recent shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

Mr. Borer continued, in an interview with Federal News radio: “That’s why we’re advocating for a new class of officer who is trained as a law enforcement officer, has a weapon, has arrest authority and so forth to protect those checkpoints.”

A TSA agent was killed at the Los Angeles shooting. That’s the first time a TSA worker has died during duty, The Hill said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Borer also said TSA agents are regularly the target of passenger anger because of “the right-wing media and certain members of Congress” and the drumbeat to report stories that paint the agency in a negative light.

“Because of all of the vilification and hatred heaped upon both the agency and our officers … people show up at the airport every day angry before they even meet a TSA officer,” he said in The Hill report.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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