One of the few “good” things to have come out of 9/11 was the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, which allowed airline pilots to get training from Air Marshalls and carry issued firearms while going about the course of their duties. It wasn’t a perfect program, but it was a step up from fighting off potential hijackers with clipboards.
However, our new president is quitely doing everything he can to kill the program – a program where the officers in it have the best behavior and conduct records of any federal law enforcement service.
The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun.
Now, I’m not sure if this going down because the TSA is run by incompetents, or if President Obama quietly issued edicts to shut the program down, however the net result is that $2 million in funds that was to be used to approve and train new applicants has been diverted to hire “investigators” (read: Internal Affairs) that will be looking into alleged cases of “officer misconduct”, which are largely trumped up cases.
Thanks to Sebastian for the link, I have to confess I’m more than a little confused at this one. I mean, why de-fund a government program that you could have poured more money into, especially since this was one of the few successful initiatives of the Bush Administration, enjoying wide public and official support…nevermind, I suppose I answered my own question there.