FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Harold Jones Director of Communications 510.627.1564 firstname.lastname@example.org
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Port of Oakland's Board of Port Commissioners held a special session today, Thursday, September 20, 2001, to discuss airport security at Oakland International Airport. The Board passed two resolutions.
The first one directs staff to prepare a contract with the Oakland Police Department to increase its complement of Oakland Police Officers at the Oakland International Airport; and that the contract be submitted to the Board at the Port Commissioners regularly scheduled meeting October 2, 2001.
The second resolution directs Port staff to present the commissioners with a Quality Standards Program for airport security personnel as part of its airport rules and regulations. The program will address concerns related to increased and enhanced training, equipment, hiring practices and compensation. Staff was directed to prepare an ordinance reflecting this policy to be presented for consideration by the Board at its October 2, 2001 meeting.
"Every component of security is being addressed and wherever enhancements and improvements can be made, know that it will be done. Oakland International Airport is safe and secure," stated Board President Phil Tagami. "We remain committed to do all within our legal authority to insure that this continues."
"The safety and security of our passengers and airport employees is of paramount importance," stated Port of Oakland's Director of Aviation Steve Grossman. "We've been working with the Oakland Police Department on additional security for some time now. Due to the recent tragic events in our nation, we have accelerated this process."
SEIU Local 1877 representative Andrea Dehlendorf stated at the meeting, "Ensuring that all airline sub-contracted passenger safety and service workers are compensated with a decent wage and given enhanced training, would be a laudable step towards enhancing the safety of Oakland International Airport."
The airport's complex and integrated security system includes sworn law enforcement officers provided by the Oakland Police Department, federal inspection services such as immigration, agriculture, health, and customs security, as well as numerous controlled access security checkpoints requiring electronic entry and exit. There are non-sworn security officers who service the landside activities of the airport, such as in and around the building, parking lots and, traffic control. Finally, there is the most recognized security activity, that of the check point screening that occurs prior to actual entry to the airline passenger boarding gates.
While all other airport security activities are either secured, contracted for, or hired directly by a public agency, such as the federal government, the local City police department, or the airport itself under the authority of the Port of Oakland, it should be noted that the checkpoint security officers and employees are hired by the airlines that contract directly for such services. The airport has no authority or control over such employees.
Although Congress and the federal government are addressing these issues on a national level, the Port's Commission expressed a desire to take the lead in addressing these issues locally until something more can be achieved nationwide. "We will work closely with the FAA, the Oakland Police Department, the airlines at Oakland International, as well as other interested parties to insure the utmost in safety, security, and regulatory compliance," stated Steve Grossman.