On July 15, 2009 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented enhancements to the security process under which law enforcement officers (LEOs) are allowed to fly armed.
State, local, territorial, and tribal LEOs who must fly armed will obtain a unique identifier code from the TSA via a secure law enforcement network. The unique identifier code replaces the department-issued written authorization which is no longer required for LEOs who have the need to fly armed. On the day of travel LEOs are required to present the unique identifier and law enforcement credentials to airport security personnel before they will be allowed to enter the sterile area.
"The enhanced process provides a secure method of identifying and validating legitimate law enforcement officers who have a need to fly armed," said FAMS Liaison Division Special Agent in Charge James Gallagher. "And, thanks to the active participation and buy-in from our law enforcement partners the full rollout has gone very well."
TSA's Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service worked closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the country during the development of the enhanced process. The result was a process that uses existing infrastructure, incurs no additional costs, and provides a secure method of identifying properly credentialed LEOs flying armed nationwide.
Law enforcement officers flying armed serve as a deterrent aboard commercial aircraft. By ensuring that only properly credentialed and authorized law enforcement officers are allowed to fly armed, TSA is mitigating risk and ensuring the safety and security of the traveling public. For More information about TSA, visit www.TSA.gov.