Retired officers return to handle security for airport's new international terminal

Updated:

ATLANTA,None - Some retired police officers are getting called back to duty to provide additional security at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The opening of the new international terminal this spring demands more security personnel to cover the additional posts, like the areas around entrances and exits.

To fill the openings, the city is turning to the most experienced officers available. Atlanta police officers on Segways and bikes will be joined by more than 100 retired officers to cover the enhanced security needs at the new terminal.

“There are a tremendous amount of resources that we have to put in play to make sure the people are safe in our busiest airport in the world,” Chief George Turner said.

Turner said the Atlanta Police Department is calling up recently retired officers as a temporary solution while the department’s new recruits get the street experience they need.

“We are doing our very best to ramp up our department under this, and we’ve added 200 additional officers, but we have a very young department,” Turner said.

The city council approved the cost – up to $2.4 million.

Councilman Michael Julian Bond said the money comes from the airport’s budget.

“They can be plugged in instantly. They have the experience. Some of them have probably worked at the airport before, so it really is kind of a shortcut to making sure that we’ve got the kind of coverage we need,” Bond said.

The retired officers’ security contacts will expire in May 2013. By then, Atlanta police said, the new recruits will be up to speed and ready to patrol the airport.

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