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What Can And Cannot A FAM Do?  
User currently offlineboeingfever777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 409 posts, RR: 53
Posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3614 times:

I was curious as to what a Federal Air Marshall can and cannot do in air or on ground? What jurisdiction do they fall under as far as federal and local law?

I know FAM's can make arrests but to what can and cannot they do? Are they just air cops?   


Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Technically, they have power of arrest in the air or on the street even...they are sworn peace officers...and since they are Feds they know no state lines...


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User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

Quoting boeingfever777 (Thread starter):
I know FAM's can make arrests but to what can and cannot they do? Are they just air cops?   

Their powers to enforce the law in the air is an extension of their status as officers of a federal department (much like ATF, FBI, and US Marshals).

These same officers are part of the VIPR program around the country's mass transit systems. Prior to being under Homeland Security, they were part of ICE and could make a lateral move into other parts of the ICE organization.

They're not just "air cops," their qualifications and training normally surpass "ground cops."



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3325 times:

FAMs are held to some of the highest requirements of any Federal Officer. Their precision and ability to use a firearm is simply amazing. FAMs are highly trained in situational awareness. Depending on how they perceive a situation they may or may not break their cover and intervene during an on board security incident. That's why its always important to help out the cabin crew if they ask for help when dealing with a security issue or disruptive passenger. Also, even if you think there is an FAM on board, don't hesitate to "take down" a terrorist if the aircraft is in danger like the passengers on NW253 did. Thanks to Obama, FAMs are now on a lot more flights. However, they are not on board every flight. Thats why its still important for the crew and passengers to be vigilant and prepared. F/As are trained to never rely on FAMs because F/As don't know if or when they will intervene.

FAMs are fully qualified law enforcement officers. They can arrest people on the ground or in the air if they need to. FAMs may not intervene if say an intoxicated passenger is causing a disruption in the cabin. Cabin crews and FAMs are trained that terrorists may cause a distraction while another terrorist secretly does something. Terrorist "A" could cause a commotion getting the attention of the crew, passengers, and FAMs while terrorist "B" tries to breach the flight deck, for example. FAMs may not want to break their cover until they perceive an imminent threat to the aircraft.

I do not work for the Federal Government or in an airline and all the information above I have obtained from various websites and posts. I am not an expert on the FAM service. All of the information I shared could possibly be wrong.  



My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 3):
FAMs are highly trained in situational awareness. Depending on how they perceive a situation they may or may not break their cover and intervene during an on board security incident.

They need to be, since they are alone. There is no calling for backup on an airliner.

I do wonder what would happen in terms of jurisdiction if a FAM made an arrest aboard an American airliner that subsequently diverted to a foreign airport.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3161 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
I do wonder what would happen in terms of jurisdiction if a FAM made an arrest aboard an American airliner that subsequently diverted to a foreign airport.

Technically, a US registered aircraft is US soul even if its on the ground in NRT. I would assume that the arrested passenger would be brought back to the US for prosecution but I don't know for sure.  



My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3060 times:

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 3):
FAMs may not intervene if say an intoxicated passenger is causing a disruption in the cabin.

False...it's his call...

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 3):
Depending on how they perceive a situation they may or may not break their cover and intervene during an on board security incident.

That's right.....so if a drunkard was making a scene an FAM can intervene...it's his call...will it happen? probably not...unless cabin crew or passengers were assaulted or he tried to open the cockpit door etc..



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User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
I do wonder what would happen in terms of jurisdiction if a FAM made an arrest aboard an American airliner that subsequently diverted to a foreign airport.

Same thing that would happen if a diversion because of a drunk passenger were to occur. The responsibility is to ensure safety while in the air. Once on the ground, they'll gladly pass them off to local authorities. Most countries have recognized sanctions for intervening a flights safe passage.



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 6):
False...it's his call...

Yeah that's what I meant.  



My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2993 times:

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 3):
Also, even if you think there is an FAM on board, don't hesitate to "take down" a terrorist if the aircraft is in danger like the passengers on NW253 did.

However, to be entirely accurate here, the passengers on NW253 did not "take down" any terrorist in the sense that you are implying. Those who intervened thought they were merely putting out a small fire which had started. Whilst they did indeed intervene, per sé, knowingly 'taking down' a terrorist and assisting with what they thought was a possible fire are very much two different things.


User currently offlinenwafan20 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2947 times:

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 9):
However, to be entirely accurate here, the passengers on NW253 did not "take down" any terrorist in the sense that you are implying. Those who intervened thought they were merely putting out a small fire which had started.

They pulled him into the isle, and then finally forced him into business class. Not just putting out a fire if you ask me  



Long live the Red Tail! | WMU Flight Science major
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2844 times:

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 5):
Technically, a US registered aircraft is US soul even if its on the ground in NRT.

True but the catch is is that the offender would technically already be in custody.

Quoting UA777222 (Reply 7):
Once on the ground, they'll gladly pass them off to local authorities. Most countries have recognized sanctions for intervening a flights safe passage.

So would the FAM technically just restrain the pax and not actually arrest him?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):
So would the FAM technically just restrain the pax and not actually arrest him?

Once the FAM has hands on the person and restrains them, they are under arrest. With the exception of the recent Diplomatic Immunity BS that was pulled last week, I have not heard of a case where FAM intervention has not resulted in an arrest. When they pass off the passenger to local authorities, the FAM I believe stays with the passenger as an agent of custody. If they don't the receiving agency simply holds and prosecutes the individual based on the account and report of the arresting FAM.



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
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