NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newark Liberty International Airport’s new security director said Friday he’s conducting a top-down review of procedures and staffing after several recent security lapses.
Donald Drummer spoke with reporters after meeting with New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a frequent critic of the Transportation Security Administration’s performance.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccinations Suspended Across Tri-State As Federal Health Officials Investigate Rare Blood Clots
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“I’m humbled and honored by this opportunity to serve our community in this capacity and I’m also ready to make a difference,” he said.
Drummer was named last week to replace Barbara Bonn-Powell, the security head since 2007.
Even though Drummer has only been on the job for nine days, he recently spent 19 hours in the terminals observing the operations firsthand.
The new TSA Federal Security Director said three incidents in the last week in which travelers passed through security without being screened were handled properly once they were discovered. But he admitted that improvements must be made.
“While I recognize that working here at Newark, we work in one of the most challenging operational environments in the nation, I want to assure you that we will never back down from our security standards,”Drummer said.READ MORE: Demonstration Protesting Shooting Death Of Daunte Wright Briefly Shuts Down Brooklyn Bridge
Drummer said a recent report by TSA managers that described low morale and other problems at the airport “will help us focus on providing the right resources.”
Sen. Lautenberg assured members of the public that the airport was safe, but said more needs to be done.
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“We’ve got to improve the communication between the screeners,” said Lautenberg, adding it was necessary to “make sure that all the training that is required is there.”
The Homeland Security Department has launched an investigation into several other security lapses at the airport.
Last year, a terminal was closed for six hours after a man bypassed security through an exit corridor to see his girlfriend off.MORE NEWS: Brutally Honest Post About 'Neurotic, Man-Hating' Chihuahua Up For Adoption In New Jersey Goes Viral
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