BEREA, OH (WOIO) - 19 Action News has uncovered security changes are coming to Hopkins Airport. So how will they affect your travel plans?
You'll notice the changes as soon as you unload your bags. Traffic controllers will replace police officers where you get dropped off and picked up, and here's why:
The city sees this as a way to beef up Homeland Security at Hopkins Airport. Currently you see police patrolling the roadway just outside the terminal telling you that you can't park there. We've also learned in days the city will move eight traffic controllers to do that job. The traffic controllers are coming back from being laid off. So what about the cops? We're told they will be moved into the actual terminal to beef up patrols inside.
The police union is watching these moves closely pointing out traffic controllers don't carry guns. Who knows what might happen outside the airport.
Hopkins Director released this statement concerning the changes:
Statement by Airport Director Ricky Smith
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport receives eight new Traffic Controllers
Beginning in August 2012, Police Traffic Controllers (TC) will be deployed at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). The new Traffic Controllers will be assigned to the airport's roadway traffic patrol and enforcement, primarily on the upper and lower terminal roadways. They will work under the supervision of the Cleveland Police Department (CPD) Airport Unit and their presence will free up full-time sworn officers for higher-priority security duties.
During the City of Cleveland's 2004-2005 budget reductions, Police Traffic Controllers were laid off. Their return this year represents CLE's efforts to assign appropriate personnel to provide traffic control and traffic enforcement responsibilities during peak periods on the airport's roadways. Sworn police officers will continue to supervise the Traffic Controllers and be deployed to patrol posts in accordance with the Airport Security Program.