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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Press Release

TSA Announces New Airport Airside Security Initiative

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Contact:
TSA Press Office
(571) 227-2829

TSA Public Affairs: (305) 432-0076

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the establishment of a new security initiative aimed at further enhancing airport airside and perimeter security.

The Airside Vulnerability Reduction Team program will strengthen the coordination of work by TSA, law enforcement, airline and airport security partners to reduce vulnerabilities to airport airside operations. Airside is defined as the secure side of the airport, to include the tarmac.

The new initiative will be headed by Willie Williams who has served as federal security director at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since the start of TSA operations there in 2002. Prior to joining TSA, Williams served as police chief for the cities of Los Angeles and Philadelphia. He has 44 years of law enforcement and federal security experience.

"Willie is truly one of the nation's leaders in law enforcement and an experienced innovator in community policing," said Mo McGowan, TSA assistant administrator for Security Operations. "His specialized law enforcement experience and knowledge gained as security director of the world's busiest airport make him uniquely suited for this initiative."

"By continuing to strengthen the relationships we have with local law enforcement and airline and airport security partners, we can better leverage our existing resources to address potential security threats," Williams said.

In leading the new project Williams also will serve as TSA's national liaison to law enforcement organizations across the country.

TSA has employed several measures including the Aviation Direct Access Screening Program (ADASP) and Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) operations to enhance perimeter security. Seven airports are currently participating in employee screening pilots.

For more information about TSA, visit our Web site www.tsa.gov. To provide feedback on this or other security issues, visit TSA's blog at www.tsa.gov/blog.

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