Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Demands Apology from Representative Duncan for Ignorant Remarks

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Today, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association National President J.Adler denounced Representative John Duncan for his disparaging remarks made against the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS). During his demeaning comments delivered on June 19th, Representative Duncan referred to the FAMS as a "useless agency" (see his website article entitled "Duncan Blasts "Useless" Air Marshal Service"). He then further evidences his inability to grasp the importance of the FAMS' mission by asserting that it would be "a total waste" for the House to appropriate $860 million to the FAMS.

Today, FLEOA National President J. Adler denounced Representative John Duncan for his disparaging remarks made against the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS). During his demeaning comments delivered on June 19th, Representative Duncan referred to the FAMS as a "useless agency" (see his website article entitled "Duncan Blasts "Useless" Air Marshal Service"). He then further evidences his inability to grasp the importance of the FAMS' mission by asserting that it would be "a total waste" for the House to appropriate $860 million to the FAMS.

FLEOA takes strong exception to the faulty reasoning put forth by Rep Duncan. 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?

Contrary to Rep Duncan's misguided remarks, the dedicated men and women in the FAMS do not have "a cushy, 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.

To support his deplorable position, Rep Duncan refers to comments made by a professor regarding the money our government has appropriated for homeland security. Perhaps, if Rep Duncan opted to consult with those who actually work in the real world, he might learn that 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 FAM Agency President Frank Terreri, "the FAMS are the frontline of defense to deter terrorists from hijacking American planes. There is no one with a big 'S' on their shirt that's going to come to the rescue in midair to protect American lives." We hope Rep Duncan won't have to experience a 9/11 predicament in order to understand the error of his position. Should Rep Duncan be interested in learning about the severity of real air travel threats, FLEOA would be happy to enlighten him.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (http://www.fleoa.org) is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that exclusively represents federal law enforcement officers.

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Jon Adler FLEOA President

Frank Terreri FLEOA FAMS Agency Presiden
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
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