Thursday, January 7, 2010

Senator Calls For Release Of Newark Airport Security Breach Tape

On Sunday, Terminal C at Newark International Airport was shut down for about seven hours after a man entered through an exit circumventing the screening process.

After a search for the person proved futile, the decision was made to evacuate the terminal and sweep it and then re-screen everyone before letting them back in.

Not only did it inconvenience passengers at Newark, but it also affected Continental Airlines operations elsewhere because its planes, that use Terminal C as a hub, couldn't get in or out.

When all was said and done it was concluded that the person who breached security wasn't intent on doing any harm. But the fact is, he has never been located so no one really knows for sure.

Now, a U.S. senator is calling for a release to the public of the video of the intruder.

U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who has seen the video tape, is urging the Transportation Security Administration to release an image of the still-unidentified suspect.

“After viewing video of the security breach I am even more outraged by the lapse that occurred,” Lautenberg said.

“The video shows a clear picture of the suspect and provides an opportunity for the TSA to enhance the ongoing investigation. I am calling on the TSA to immediately release the suspect’s image to the public and the media. The more people who see this image, the faster we will find the person in question.”

Lautenberg and New Jersey's other U.S. senator, Democract Robert Menendez, also called upon the TSA to enhance security at the airport.

Among their recommendations:

• Reinforcement of terminal exit points with adequate personnel levels to ensure full and continuous monitoring

• A video surveillance system that is continuously functioning, frequently monitored and enhanced to provide complete surveillance of all secure areas

• Improvements to the communication and information-sharing between the TSA, Port Authority police, airlines and other law enforcement.

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