Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 23, 2012
On behalf of the 26,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), I am writing to express our membership's strong opposition to the President’s budget reducing the budget of the Federal Air Marshal Service by over $50 million dollars. This drastic cut would reduce the rank-and-file workforce of flying Federal Air Marshals by up to 500-700+ agents and a possible reduction in the flying Federal Flight Deck Officer numbers by up to 1,500. FLEOA believes this represents nothing more than election year political grandstanding at the expense of the safety and security of the traveling American public. The active flying Federal Air Marshal Service agents, as well as the all-volunteer Federal Flight Deck Officers, are deployed around the world on commercial airlines as truly the last line of defense in commerical air travel.
At a time when active Federal Air Marshal’s mission operational deployments should be increasing due to international events such as the London Olympic Games, overt activity and threats from known and unknown terrorist organinzations, presidential election activity, continuous new and evolving aviation sector threats, the ranks of the agency should be increased, not decreased.
Realizing that fiscal belt-tightening must be administered, FLEOA stands ready to work with members of Congress and the President’s budget committee members to identify areas that will not increase our vulnerabilities and put the flying American public at increased risk. The Federal Air Marshal Service, in different forms, has been actively involved for the past 50 years as the “last line of defense’ in commercial air travel and a lesson that we hope resounds throughout Congress and the other governmental offices is that we, as a nation, must never allow our guard down again.
The recent 10 year anniversary of the horrific events of September 11, 2001 should never leave us asking ourselves again on that faithful day “Where were the Federal Air Marshals”? Unfortunately, cutbacks and political posturing in previous years resulted in the United States having only 33 Air Marshals on 9-11. This type of political year gamesmanship could cause just that to occur again, leaving the President and other decision makers on Capital Hill pointing across the aisle while the enemy attempts again to attack our freedom. FLEOA stands ready to assist our lawmakers by enacting responsible fiscal measures that will allow our security to remain in place and ready to protect our aviation and transportation infrastructure.
For Press, Congressional and Public Information Inquiries:
National President, FLEOA
George R. Taylor
FAMS FLEOA Agency President
1100 Connecticut Avenue, NW, STE 900
Washington, DC 20036