FLEOA Appalled at Contemptible Remarks

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Appalled at Contemptible Remarks from Representative Duncan!

Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) National President Jon Adler denounced Representative John Duncan for his disparaging remarks made against the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS). In his remarks to the House Committee for Homeland Security (full comments on Rep. Duncan’s webpage) delivered on February 15, 2012, Representative Duncan stated the following regarding FAMS as "the most needless, useless agency in the entire Federal Government is the Air Marshal Service. USA Today once reported that more air marshals had been arrested than were arrests by air marshals. Talk about a soft, easy job. All these people do is ride back and forth on airplanes, back and forth, back and forth, mostly in first class.”

"FLEOA takes strong exception to the faulty reasoning put forth by Rep. Duncan," Adler said. "To wit, Rep. Duncan attempts to undermine the critical role the FAMS’ play in our nation’s homeland security by belittling the number of arrests Air Marshals have made. What he fails to understand is that the Federal Air Marshals have been a formidable force for deterring violent crimes on airplanes. The low number of arrests is actually to their credit, and demonstrates the positive impact the FAMS have on air travel safety. Would Rep. Duncan consider President Obama’s Secret Service detail a failure if they didn’t make more than four arrests in a year?"  

Adler added, "Contrary to Rep. Duncan’s misguided remarks, the dedicated men and women in the FAMS do not have 'a soft, easy job.' They endure long, hard schedules, often traveling across country with minimal turnaround time. The job entails making continual threat assessments in a close quarter’s environment, and requires superior firearm and defensive tactics skills. While the cockpit doors may be reinforced, who’s protecting the American citizenry that’s sitting in the cabin? In December 2005, when a passenger declared that he had a bomb on a plane in the Miami Airport, who responded to this imminent threat and protected American lives? Perhaps Rep. Duncan might rethink his inflammatory comments since his constituents fly on the same planes our Air Marshals protect."

There are viable threats being made against our homeland each day. The lessons of September 11th have shown that we cannot effectively manage by crisis. Proactive defensive measures require funding, and the Air Marshals risk their lives each day to ensure that Americans are kept safe during air travel.

According to FLEOA National Vice President – Legislative Affairs Frank Terreri, "Federal Air Marshals are the frontline of defense to deter terrorists from hijacking American planes. Ironically, the greatest threat to aviation security and the safety of the flying public is not from the terrorists themselves – it comes from political rhetoric like this.” Terreri added, "Representative Duncan’s remarks are exactly what terrorists want to hear out of America’s elected leaders – a false, lulled sense of security. The terrorists are patient, they have proven that. Our elected leaders need to exercise patience and maintain the same commitment to aviation security and the safety of our citizenry.”