The lessons learned from the emergency response to last November's deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport will be reviewed Friday during a congressional committee hearing at LAX.
The shooting raised immediate questions about airport security and emergency reponse, prompting in-depth evaluations of communication systems, crowd-control measures, evacuation procedures and when paramedics may enter active shooter situations.
This week, a Transportation Security Administration report recommended -- among many things -- an increased police presence at ticket counters and screening areas.
On Friday the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security will hear testimony from the TSA, local police, the Los Angeles airport director and the American Federation of Government Employees.
"The immediate actions of TSA and law enforcement to pursue the shooter undoubedly saved lives. However, it has been discovered since the incident that some procedures could be improved," said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a member of the subcommittee.
"It is important that we review how airport security can better coordinate and respond to an emergency," he said.
The shooting occurred on the morning of Nov. 1, when a gunman, identified by police as Paul Anthony Ciancia, now 24, targeted TSA screening personnel in Terminal 3 of LAX, the nation's third-busiest airport.
Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39 and the father of two, was shot to death, becoming the agency's first officer killed in the line of duty. Two other TSA officials and a school teacher were wounded.
Earlier this week the TSA released its review of the shooting, which made recommendations for improvements at LAX and airports nationwide.
Among other things, it called for an increased police presence at ticket counters and passenger screening areas during peak travel times. During the November shooting, the TSA checkpoints at LAX were not protected by armed police officers, though they had been in the past.
The airport's own assessment was released the week before. It concluded that communication problems between agencies contributed to a chaotic evacuation, poor coordination and delays in reaching victims.
At the hearing, J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said he would call for an overhaul of airport security to address the lapses that led to the death of Hernandez. The federation, which represents 45,000 TSA officers, has called for armed guards at TSA passenger screening areas.
"The LAX incident made it clear that the security processes and systems at checkpoints nationwide are fundamentally broken," Cox said.
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