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The Kansas City Police Department Is Already Preparing For A New Airport

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

Kansas City might be four years and $2 billion away from a single terminal at Kansas City International Airport, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to start thinking about how to police it.

The Airport Police Division's website lists "several full-time" openings.

Last week the Kansas City Police Department, which has always maintained a small presence at the airport, assigned a major, a sergeant and several new officers to the detail.

"We just wanted to be prepared as best as we can, going forward, to respond to any police calls for service or police emergencies up there," says Kansas City Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina. "We realized that having a few officers up there is a better opportunity to do that."

"This conversation is about looking at the airport’s operations holistically as we prepare to build a new terminal," city spokesman Chris Hernandez told KCUR in an email.

Airport Division officers have "specific aviation related training" required of airport police everywhere. That training is regulated by the TSA, according to Hernandez.

KCPD officers are called on to back up KCI officers and for some tactical expertise, such as the bomb squad.

Security will change when demolition begins.

"There's going to be a very large construction project and there's going to be a large new terminal with new operations and new requirements and new logistics to work through from a police perspective," says Becchina.

Airport passenger traffic has been growing at about 4 percent a year since 2013. In 2017, almost 11.5 million people flew in and out of the airport.

Sam Zeff is KCUR's metro reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff.

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