To become a law enforcement officer you need two things, academy training and experience with handling criminals. State and local police departments include several weeks of field training in busy areas before academy graduation. Then you are only a green recruit for a year or two until you become the real police.
The most difficult part of police work is dealing with violators. Police work is the art of not turning littering into armed robbery and not missing dangerous tricks pulled by career criminals.
Unless air marshals have prior police experience their effectiveness will be limited significantly. The air marshal candidates and applicants lack the basic tools to handle the job even after training.
Do you really want to see a green air marshal engaged in close quarter combat with a trained and experienced terrorist? Of course the rub here is that this may well be the first time the air marshal ever had a real fight. Cops on the other hand deal with the best of street fighters and barroom brawlers.
The job of air marshal is boring, and swallowed in lots of government bureaucracy.
Remember the air marshal is the man or woman that is not listening to IPOD, watching DVDs, chatting with other passengers, reading or sleeping. The air marshal is breathing bad air and eating too much expensive and really bad airport concession food. This has to be a lonely and miserable life.
Years can go by before an air marshal is called into enforcement action. An air marshals experience on the job is as worthless as being unemployed everywhere in the American job market.
The truth is they air marshals are quitting as fast as they’re being hired. It’s so difficult to find qualified candidates they lowered hiring and training standards and are giving the jobs to the screeners these days.
We have a much better force and that’s encouraging trained, certified and fit off duty cops to fly armed for free or at greatly reduced ticket prices.
I’d set up a one day training session and vetting process for the volunteer cops wanting to participate.
Armed pilots and off duty armed cops are the best prospect for keeping Americans safe where air travel is concerned. It’s not only cost effective but the only effective way to deal with these issues.
Here is more about the TSA and their problems from CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin.