Michael Webber’s recent column on the unfortunate proposal to have Kansas City Police Department officers take over security at KCI was cogent, concise and spot-on accurate (7/30, Opinion, “KCI director deserves greater support from city”).
In addition to Mr. Webber’s correct assertions about the unlikelihood of the plan saving any money, the following critical fact is what the council and the traveling public should be concerned with: Airport policing and security is not the same job as civil and criminal policing. The current airport police and their command staff possess years of mission-specific training and experience working with procedures and protocols specific to operating in a federal air operations environment. Airport police, for instance, have duties on the airfield where intimate knowledge of geography and procedures is critical.
We all support the Kansas City Police Department and its fine work in our community. However, the current airport police do — and have done for 36 years — a highly effective job at providing security at KCI. Messing around with them will do little to mitigate the woeful, long- term underfunding of the Kansas City Police Department
Retired manager, Aviation Department
How insulting that Mayor Funkhouser seems to feel that the airport police are incompetent, second-level security guards. These men and women put on their uniforms and risk their lives every workday for this city, just as the Kansas City police do. They have been at KCI and Wheeler Downtown Airport, quietly doing their jobs day after day, for the last 35-plus years.
These officers have saved the lives of countless people, doing their thankless jobs under adverse conditions, all while collecting low pay and average benefits. They have had police training and regularly attend continuing education courses hours to be their best. They continue to keep customer satisfaction high and leave a professional, positive impression on airport travelers.
Today and every day, these men and women are at work, doing what they are well trained to do. Shame on you, Mayor Funkhouser! These are your city employees.