Airport Security Plans - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Airport Security Plans

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Minot's airport would get private security guards under a plan approved in the city's Finance Committee this week.

The proposal passed in the committee would hire a Bismarck firm to provide guards at the airport for eight hours per day, during the busiest times for passenger traffic.

The cost is just under 100-thousand dollars per year.

Minot Police officers had been manning the gate leading from the secure area of the airport to the public area, 15-hours per day.

New technology and some revised TSA rules allowed the airport to drop that arrangement as long as police were available within 15 minutes of receiving a call for help at the airport.

But Airport Manager Andrew Solsvig says there is still a need for security during busy times.

(Andrew Solsvig, Minot Airport Manager) "The security plan allows us a 15 minute response with Minot Police Department. Most incidents happen within 30 seconds to less than a minute and we would like to have a presence of security on site just to be able to handle disruptions, intoxicated individuals, and other situations so we have someone there that can respond very quickly."

Some committee members questioned having an out-of-town firm providing security at the airport.

But Minot Police Chief Jason Olson said he prefers that arrangement.

(Jason Olson, Minot Police Chief) "Do I think it's the best use of a licensed police officer to be at the airport versus being out on the street where it's very busy? Or assigning an officer to the drug task force or to the schools? I think those are a higher priority so I think it's better suited for a security guard-type position."

The committee unanimously passed the plan to hire a security firm.

The recommendation goes to the full city council next week.

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