BWI security bolstered by extra police

October 09, 2001|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Additional police officers patrolled the terminal at Baltimore-Washington International Airport yesterday, but otherwise, as travelers made their way through security checkpoints at the busy airport, it appeared that the U.S. attack against Afghanistan had little effect on operations.

The extra Maryland Transportation Authority Police officers were added in response to Sunday's bombing raids, said airport spokeswoman Melanie Miller, who didn't know how many more officers were on patrol.

Their increased presence bolsters other measures in place since the terrorist attacks nearly a month ago, including more security checkpoints, random luggage searches and armed Maryland National Guard soldiers at the airport.

"Since Sept. 11, we've been in a heightened state of security; it really can't get much more secure," Miller said. "This is one of the busiest airports in the nation, and it's a priority to keep the passengers coming."

The extra transportation authority police are there to reassure passengers and to assist other law enforcement officers.

"It's like troopers patrolling the highways to prevent anything," Miller said.

Travelers in long security checkpoint lines said they didn't mind waiting, especially after Sunday's military strike in Afghanistan.

Pam Matchett, who was returning home to Indianapolis, said she had second thoughts about flying yesterday. "Once I got here, I felt a little better with everything being checked," she said, adding that the lines moved quickly.

Thadd and Mari Vargas, who were headed home to San Francisco, said they weren't concerned about flying after the U.S. strike.

"The heightened security gives us more confidence," Thadd Vargas said. "We plan to take advantage of the low fares and do more flying."

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