Bill giving arresting powers to Airport/Port Security pending in Senate
An administration bill extending the power of arrest to the local airport security guards is pending in the Senate.
The measure was introduced this week and proposes to allow the Director of the Department of Port AdminisRation to designate employees with restricted authority for arrest as police officers.
It must undergo police training programs as provided by local, state or federal law enforcement agencies.
The measure notes that since 9/11, billions of dollars nationwide have been poured into heightening airport security while the Port continue to be neglected.
The Port is a vital government infrastructure, with over 70% of our Territory's imports, more than double the cargo received at the Pago Pago Airport, entering by way of the Port.
Furthermore, the Port generates millions of dollars annually for the American Samoa Government hence the need to elevate the level of security at all ports of entry of the Territory.
Also, American Samoa faces increasingly complex and specialized crimes that warrant law enforcement services in the Department of Port Administration (DPA) to reinforce the protection of our ports of entry at the Pago Pago Airport and Ports.