Police at DIA taking 'necessary precautions' after Florida rampage

Airport officials report "heightened awareness"
DIA, police react after Florida shooting rampage
Posted at 7:06 PM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-07 00:59:31-05

DENVER -- The ripple effect of the Florida shooting rampage is being felt at Denver International Airport where security has been tightened.

"Any time there is a high-profile incident, we do have a heightened sense awareness," said Heath Montgomery, an airport spokesman.

Meanwhile, Denver police said officers at the airport are "very aware" of what happened in Ft. Lauderdale.

"We are taking the necessary precautions," said Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson, who would not elaborate on what security measures were being taken.

Aviation security experts like Jeff Price said most airports will be on high alert throughout the day.

"They are increasing their level of law enforcement patrols, security officers, they're looking for stuff," said Price. "Because what we don’t know at this point is, was this a single event-single shooter or is this a planned attack where five or six people on the internet said, 'let’s all go do this at different airports at the same time.'"

Price said that for too long, law enforcement focus has been on protecting airplanes, not airports, especially baggage claim areas.

"It's a very soft target. It's a very vulnerable area, and it doesn't get attacked that often. So now we've got to find some protection for this part of the airport, too," said Price.

Finding the right balance is the challenge, he said, since airports are a public space with a need for easy access.

Still, after Friday's shooting following the attacks in Istanbul and Brussels last year, airports all over the world are considering how to make these spaces safer.

"When you attack a transportation facility, like an airport, you affect the entire nation and in some cases you can affect transportation around the world," said Price. "We need more eyes on that area."


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