Police Using Air Enthusiasts To Boost Security At Miami International Airport

New Program Created With Miami-Dade Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Airline flight has been fascinating Americans for generations. People line up at key vantage points to watch commercial jets land, take off, and anything else air related. So, Miami-Dade Police came up with a way to use these air enthusiasts to boost safety. NBC 6's Hank Tester has the story. (Published Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014)

    Airline flight has been fascinating Americans for generations. People line up at key vantage points to watch commercial jets land, take off, and anything else air related. So, Miami-Dade Police came up with a way to use these air enthusiasts to boost safety.

    “I actually came to Miami because of photographing,” said enthusiast Bob Dewars. “I am a manufacturing engineer for an aerospace company.”

    Bob is not alone. Most days there is a crowd of people who use serious cameras and lenses to enjoy their hobby. Members of the Florida Aviation Photographers include medical doctors, engineers, and other professions.

    Because the people are around the airport quite a bit with cameras and knowledge of aviation, the idea was hatched to put them to use to add another layer of security.

    Miami-Dade Police have been training the shutterbugs to spot terrorist threats, suspicious activity, and anything out of the ordinary around the perimeter of Miami International Airport.

    “To have the added capability you are going to bring after this training is a tremendous asset to our airport,” said Dr. Emilio Gonzalez.

    There are currently 19 members of the local “Miami Airport Watch” in the training program and all of them said they are glad the program is in place to allow them to put their skills to good use helping protect passengers and workers at MIA.

    “We are very happy that Miami is pragmatic enough to start this program and we are looking forward to this developing,” said Suresh Atapattu.