The Washington Post

DCA, IAD increase security following airport shooting in L.A.

The video above is used by officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to train non-law enforcement airport personnel on how to react in the event of a shooting.

In response to the shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday, officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority have increased patrols and officer presence at Reagan National and Dulles International airports.

MWAA police chief Stephen Holl said law enforcement officials are particularly focused on security checkpoints following reports that the shooting took place near a security checkpoint at LAX.

Holl said that airport authority officers are trained in “active shooter” response. MWAA’s training facilities include a special firearms range where officers practice using weapons that might be used in a situation where there is an active shooter.

The airports authority has formal and informal training programs for its officers. Two years ago, it also launched a training program for non-law enforcement airport personnel who might be confronted by a gunman while working at the airport.

“Just like any municipal police agency, we see the active shooter threat as quite high,” Holl said. “So we talk to [the airport community] about what they can expect to a police response.”

So far in 2013, more than 500 people have gone through the hour-long training. As part of it, participants view a short video “Run, Hide, Fight” produced by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Houston Police Department.

“We’re the primary local law enforcement agency, but we have FBI assigned to each airport and work closely with TSA,” he said.

In incidents such as the one that took place in Los Angeles, MWAA officers would coordinate with their law enforcement partners.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.



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Lori Aratani · November 1, 2013

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