Houston Police are better armed than ever at both major airports.
Officers are packing semi-automatic rifles for the first time ever.
“The weapon itself is a carbine, AR-15,” said HPD Lt. David Acres. “It’s something we’ve been in discussion about for years and just decided this Thanksgiving to start implementing.”
The decision does not follow any specific threat. But it does come after a series of mass shootings in which similar weapons have been used.
“I mean, I know they’re trained with them and know how to use them,” said traveler Jamie Devine. “So, I feel even more safe if they’ve got an AR-15 on them.”
Travelers are already accustomed to long TSA lines and other security measures at airports. AR-15s may be just another layer that even those opposed to guns support.
“I don’t like guns,” said traveler Prheima Patel. “But there’s too much going on in the world and we do need security.”
According to HPD, the number of officers armed with AR-15s will vary. But they will patrol all areas of the airports, including parking garages.
“We’re just simply doing it to increase security here at the airport,” said Lt. Acres.
Any officer who’s armed with an AR-15 must be certified. That’s in addition to being trained on their regular service weapon.