(Photo courtesy of Paul Keleher)
As of July 15, 2009, TSA implemented security enhancements to the process that allows state, local, territorial, and tribal Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to fly armed.
When LEOs need to fly armed, they will now obtain a unique identifier code from the TSA via a secure law enforcement network. This new system is replacing the old method of clearance via written authorization from the officer's police department.
The beautiful thing about the security enhancements is that they use an existing infrastructure, so no additional costs are incurred while security is strengthened.
So now, in order to fly armed, a LEO will need to present their credentials along with their unique identifier code when traveling through a TSA checkpoint.
Why are we updating security procedures? As you can imagine, allowing somebody in the aircraft cabin with a weapon has to involve the most secure of check-in process. These enhancements to the process allow us to ensure that only properly credentialed LEOs with a need are flying armed.
Law enforcement officers flying armed serve as a deterrent aboard commercial aircraft. To date, due to support from our law enforcement partners, the rollout has been extremely smooth.
Law Enforcement Officers who meet the requirements can go here to get more info.
No additional costs + enhanced check in process + added security for passengers = WIN!
TSA Blog Team