TSA to review safety policy

  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 10:33 PM

TSA to review safety policy

The Transportation Security Administration will review its policy on officer safety in the wake of the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

TSA Administrator John Pistole said Saturday that the agency’s officers are “the first line of defense” in airport security. Pistole, who spoke outside the home of slain TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez, said the agency would do everything possible to make sure Friday’s tragedy was never repeated.

He did not say if that meant arming officers.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Pat Gannon said Saturday that the LAPD dedicated extra resources to the airport and that visitors will see an increased law-enforcement presence for some time.

‘I am truly devastated’

The wife of the slain TSA screener Gerardo Hernandez, 39, said her husband was “always there to help anyone in need.”

Standing outside their home, Ana Hernandez said: “We are hurting. I am truly devastated.”

She said her husband was “always excited to go to work.”

The youngest of four siblings, she said, Gerardo moved to the United States from El Salvador at age 15 and graduated from Los Angeles High School. Ana Hernandez said she was 16 and he was 19 when the couple met. They married in 1998 on Valentine’s Day.

‘I think this is my son’

Allen Cummings, police chief of Pennsville, N.J. — the 14,000-person town where suspect Paul Ciancia grew up — said Ciancia’s father called him Friday, concerned about a text message the son had sent with “comments in there he was going to harm himself.” The father said there was a chance his son had a gun.

Within hours, Cummings had returned to his office when the phone rang. “My secretary said, ‘Chief, there’s a phone call for you about the shooting at LAX,’ ” he said. “At that point I knew.”

As soon as Cummings hung up with the reporter, Ciancia’s father called: “He said, ‘I’m watching TV and I think this is my son at the airport.’ ”

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