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Rent-a-cop Arrested Over Airport Threat  
User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1680 times:

I have comments written at the bottom after the article from the Des Moines Register:

Alleged threat prompts arrest
By APRIL GOODWIN
Register Staff Writer
12/13/2000
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Des Moines airport security guard was arrested Monday for allegedly threatening to set fire to or blow up an airplane.

Leroy Farnsworth, 26, of Des Moines was on duty at the time, working for PerMar Security Services at a gate at the Des Moines airport. He told a PerMar supervisor and an airport employee about 9:30p.m. that he wanted to ignite an Airborne Express aircraft.

"He's kind of immature for his age, but he wouldn't hurt a fly," said Jan Farnsworth, Leroy's mother. "Today's his birthday, and he's 26 going on 12."

Jan Farnsworth said her son has always been a prankster and quick-lipped. She said he was working outside when he said something like "if you'd let one of those things burn, we could get warm."

PerMar Security Services handles security for convenience stores and other businesses in the metro area. Leroy Farnsworth had been a security guard with the company for severalnine years, but had worked at the airport for only two weeks, his mother said. He was guarding a construction site, she said.

Farnsworth was taken to the City Jail Monday, and Airborne Express, the airport tower, Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI were notified.

Farnsworth was released from Polk County Jail Tuesday on $7,150 bail.

"I think he's kind of learned a lesson," Jan Farnsworth said. "But I don't know what it's going to cost him."

In 1998 the City of Des Moines' legal department drafted an ordinance regarding reckless statements at the airport after three people made comments in separate incidents in just more than a month. A Comair Des Moines-to-Cincinnati flight landed in Cedar Rapids that year after a passenger joked that he had an atomic bomb in his luggage.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, folks, you want to know what the sad part is? I've worked with this guy! He's the one who trained me to be a lousy security guard when I used to be a ren-a-cop for Per Mar. Taught me to take food from the kitchen. Sleep on the job. Be lazy about going on rounds. And that all in one night! Wasn't at the airport though, it was at a factory. I can vouch for the fact that this guy is a total fucking idiot.

Anyway, is the City of Des Moines' policy too harsh or just right? I actually like it because it punishes smart asses who give smart ass replies to ticket counter agents when they ask the standard security questions. What do you think?

mls515

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1629 times:

No offense, but I think I speak for the entire board when I say I could care less...

Kind of funny you worked with the poor bastard though  


User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1613 times:

I probably wouldn't have brought it up had I not worked with the guy.

But it is a big issue isn't it? Flights being delayed because people joke "yea I got a bomb in there" to the ticket counter agent?


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1598 times:

Airport rent-a-cops are a pet peeve of mine, so I am not sad to see Leroy in the slammer.

Back in my police days, I once left a pair of handcuffs in my duty jacket and packed it in my carryon. At ORD security it showed up on the scanner and the rent-a-cops all came to life and surrounded me. A supervisor steamed up and demanded "Aren't you aware that only law enforcement personnel are allowed to carry handcuffs onto planes?", figuring that this scruffy kid (I had just come off a long BOM-DEL-LHR-ORD flight and I was only 21 at the time) would bow to his superiority.

Not so. I replied "Sure I'm aware", whipped out my badge (which actually said "POLICE" not "SECURITY" unlike his!) and stormed away.

Ack. Give 'em a badge and they think they are superman....


User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1565 times:

Hey I had a plastic badge when I was a rent a cop!

User currently offlineAvilitigator From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1546 times:

B747-437B,

I would expect airport security guards to surround anyone who was bringing in contraband items, so I wouldn't knock those who surrounded you then. I would be more worried if they didn't say or do a thing.

I find it ironic that you say "Give 'em a badge and they think they are superman...." but you acted like superman yourself when you stormed away after flashing your badge.

However, I do understand why you feel the way you do about the security guards given that they probably didn't have to go through the rigorous training that you went through to become a police officer. That's the same situation that I've seen with Doctors/Chiropractors, Lawyers/Paralegals -- you've worked hard to get your professional license and it's unfair to have those people try to pass themselves off as someone they're not.

I think the ideal situation would be to have police or military officers screening passengers and luggage, but given the lack of resources and likely desk-job/traffic-cop connotations of such a position, I don't see this scenario happening. Maybe another way to improve the level of professionalism in airport security guards is to pay them more and require more training.


User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1530 times:

747-437B,

Yeah I have to agree with Avili., I admire most of your posts on here, but I'm not sure I completely understand your last point. They did their job, they saw someone brining "dangerous" (be generous here) materials onboard and acted.....It would significantly more disturbing if they did nothing...

Regards,
Russell


User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 1522 times:

The punishment wasn't too harsh at all. I'm all for freedom of speech, but when it comes to the classics like joking about bombs at the airport, threatening the President or, in jest, yelling 'FIRE!' in a crowd (all crimes), a night in the pookie is in order. I just feel sorry for his mom, because you know she's the one that had to post the 700 bones to bail him out. (BTW, I think this is an interesting story and warranted posting)


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineDC-9CAPT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 1514 times:

The two most common elements found in the world are hydrogen and stupidity.

If Leroy gets the same Iowa Prosecutor who was on the Discovery Channel--American Justice--the other night, he'll be in the Big House for a long, long time. This prosecutor sent a guy away for 20 years for nothing more than being drunk and punching another guy in the mouth.

I have nothing against the "harsh" treatment this guy is getting. The justice system is simply sending a stupid person away to be with other stupid people. Hopefully he'll be there awhile.



User currently offlineRaddog2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1505 times:

I think it was good that they taught him a lesson, but at the same time I feel a little sorry for the guy. He doesn't sound too bright. I REALLY feel sorry for his mom.

User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

Makes you wonder if, during orientation, anyone makes clear to the guards working the airport how seriously the feds take such "idle chatter." If I were in charge of airport guard staffing, I'd make DAMN sure that lesson was drilled into their heads. Think of how it reflects on the company.


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineAvilitigator From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1491 times:

I agree that anyone who makes an idle threat should be punished. I remember back in the early 1980s around the time of the Iran/American Embassy hostage crisis that just about every American airport had signs around security checkpoints warning passengers about making any threat, including statements that were said jokingly, about bombs/hijacking/etc. Maybe airports should put those signs back up, and certainly the security firms need to train their employees about taking any threat, however innocuous it may seem, as a serious security breach.

User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1485 times:

DSM has these signs you speak of right in the check in area. They cite the city ordinance that Leroy was thrown in the slammer for violating. Is there also a federal law he violated? If so federal charges may also be filed.

JetService- That's 7,000 bones, not 700.

DC-9 CAPT- I saw the same Discovery Channel show that you did. In that segment they interviewed a state senator that was in favor of the strict mandatory sentances. Well now that state senator is the Governor!

I also should clear up another point. Per Mar doesn't provide the guards inside the airport. He would have been working outside probably at a gate around a cargo area. Mentioned in the article was an Airborne Express jet. Also I know that Per Mar has guards over around the UPS area at DSM.

I'm glad Per Mar is getting this negative publicity. I swear to God I was the only normal person who worked for them. After that summer I swore I'd never go back to that line of work.


User currently offlineAvilitigator From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1478 times:

Mls515,

Yes, it's a federal offense under 18 U.S.C. Sections 32 & 35 to impart or convey any false information regarding the destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities. Violaters face a fine of up to $1000, and for egregious cases, imprisonment up to 5 years. Jokers beware.


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1471 times:

My point was that they jumped to the conclusion that I was guilty of possesing contraband, rather than asking me if I had valid credentials.

I have carried many "contraband" materials through checkpoints at ATL (using the desk staffed by Atlanta PD Airport precinct rather than the Argenbright checkpoints) and other airports but this was the only time I was judged before being asked for credentials or informed of the laws.

Of course, military staffed checkpoints such as FRA are a little excessive too. Another story for another day but thank God for my German professor who taught me "Ich bin Amerikanish polizei!"  


User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1466 times:

Sean, what kind of policemen were you?

I'm tempted to ask...Sky Marshal?  


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1466 times:

*ROTFLMAO*

I wish, I wish.... Nothing that glamorous though.

I had 2.5 years with Georgia Tech Police Department here in Atlanta. I ended up as co-ordinator of the SSP Unit, concentrating primarily on crime prevention programs with the occasional undercover job. I was actually up in your neck of the woods (Ithaca) in 1998 to look at some of the programs Cornell Police were implementing there, but the campuses were so totally different it was hard to implement some of their ideas here.


User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1449 times:

OFF-TOPIC

Cornell has one of the most interesting campuses I've ever seen. It's at the top of a HUGE hill, with a few coffee shops and restaurants at the base, bordered on the other side by a deep gorge with a bridge that stressed-out students can suicide from. It's really very pretty.



"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1444 times:

B747-437B,

(kinda off topic) As a policeman for a university, are you allowed to carry a firearm? The Iowa Board of Regents forbids our Department of Public Safety from carrying them. Most students are opposed to it because they think that that means also arming the security officers that the same department employs, but I see no problem with it since they are actual police officers who go through the academy just like any city policeman. Especially since they make traffic stops on many major streets that adjoin university property. Imagine pulling someone over to give out a ticket and they start shooting at you and you can't shoot back! This hasn't happened yet, but could.

mls515


User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1429 times:

Mls515, I saw that bail was 7000 smackers, but I thought only 10% had to be posted, thus 700 clams.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1414 times:

Hey, my kind of chat, school and cops..hehe.

Ok, not a sky marshal, but close in that law-enforcement kind of way.

********Cornell has one of the most interesting campuses I've ever seen. It's at the top of a HUGE hill, with a few coffee shops and restaurants at the base, bordered on the other side by a deep gorge with a bridge that stressed-out students can suicide from. It's really very pretty.

Indeed! Mark, Cornell is like nothing anyone has ever seen before, its only a shame that its so far from ny, boston, new jersey, etc..where so many students gravitate from. The topograpghy of Ithaca is really neat. The city is in a valley at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and is bordered by a foothills on the west and east sides of town. Cornell sits on that range just north and east of the city. Affords great views of the town and miles up the lake. as in the alma matter "high above Cayuga's waters....." Collegetown is on the same sort of "range" just south of the university and it has the coffee bars, and apartments, and cafes, lots of upperclassmen there. Separating c-town and school is Cascadilla Gorge which is breath taking. Cornell is actually divded by two gorges, Cascadilla and an unnamed one that separates North Campus from the center of campus, it is fed from Bebe Lake (the one I think your referring too). Both are unbelievable and do nothing to help the university's repuatation as "suicide friendly" which really is almost not funny. hehe. This past semester went pretty well, no jumps, although some girl from town fell in at 2 in the morning. Surprisingly they found lots of alcohol in her system. hmmm...

You guys are making me want to go back to school. Stop, I just got home!

A loyal Big Redder,
russell


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1413 times:

Mls515 - under GA Law all campus officers are POST (Peace Officers Standards of Training) certified and are armed. Our department issued Glock 17s and Glock 19s (both 9mm).

Our campus is located smack in downtown Atlanta and has an interstate running right through it. In my 2.5 years there, I personally was involved with 13 felonies and 128 misdemeanors.

We have had 2 of our officers involved in shootouts on campus in my memory, one in 1996 and one just this past year. I personally have been involved in situations where casualties was averted because the perp was outgunned by us and surrendered rather than fought (although I still have a scar down my left leg from when I had to dive out of a moving car after the perp pulled a gun on us while we were trying to make a traffic stop). Email me or contact me on AOL IM (mendis105) or ICQ (3090212) if you want to chat more about campus police and campus safety issues.

Russell - I LOVE Ithaca. One of my best friends goes to Cornell and I try to visit her at least once a year. She now lives in Collegetown, but used to be in Mary Donlon (her freshman year) and the Townhouse community (soph year). Nice places, all of 'em! As all the signs say "Ithaca is GORGES" (sorry, that is such a bad pun that I had to regurgitate it here!).


User currently offlineNotdownnlocked From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 935 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1399 times:

Another off topic item, but doesn't Iowa stand for Idiots Out Walking Around? Kind of like those people in the movie "The Zombies."

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