Chaos in Wake of False Shootings Report at JFK Airport Exposes Security Deficiencies
Port Authority Police conduct weekly active shooter drills and multiagency response exercises, but reportedly have no access to public address systems.
NEW YORK – The chaos and confusion that paralyzed John F. Kennedy Int’l Airport for hours following reports of shootings inside Terminal 8 and Terminal 1 on Aug. 14 shows glaring gaps in security, according to critics.
Although the accounts of shootings turned out to be false, passengers tried to run, others took cover and no one knew what to do. Some of the confusion was due in part because even though Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police arrived within a couple minutes, they had no access to public address systems, fox5ny.com reports.
Juval Aviv, the former director of security for El Al Airlines, told Fox 5 that is inexcusable in 2016. Another big issue, said Aviv, is the lack of an integrated video surveillance solution. Some of the terminals have their own video feeds, but no overall comprehensive system exists so that police can see where a threat may be.
The union for the Port Authority police, which conducts weekly active shooter drills and multiagency response exercises, recommends that other law enforcement agencies have access to real time video, such as the NYPD.
The Port Authority said it is working with federal, state and local partners on a top-to-bottom review of what went wrong that night. For starters, the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association (PAPD PBA) said how about an evacuation plan, emergency exit signs and text message alerts in case of danger?
Sen. Charles Schumer is asking for the U.S. Homeland Security Department to step in, Fox 5 reports.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also taking a look at what went wrong. He dismissed the video camera issue and said the real enemy is panic. But the number of voices calling on the Port Authority to upgrade its basic security infrastructure is growing.
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