Metro Airport security top priority after attacks

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

For those concerned about traveling by plane or train over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, officials say there are plans in place to keep travelers safe from harm.

With the terrorist attacks at the Istanbul airport this week that killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds of others, security is the main focus of those who funnel travelers back and forth.

The head of Detroit Metropolitan Airport said he takes the security of its “33 million customers and 18,000 employees and contractors very seriously.”

“Our airport community is particularly mindful of the tragic events in Turkey,” said Thomas Naughton, CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority. “The victims’ families, survivors and first responders impacted by the attacks in Istanbul are top of mind for our team each day we come to work. Like our colleagues around the world, we remain committed to protecting everyone on our grounds. That’s our number one priority. We rely on employees, partners and customers to help be our eyes and ears.”

Earlier this year, Metro Airport teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security to build public awareness of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. Metro is one of the first airports in Michigan to join this effort, officials said.

Naughton said being an official ‘See Something, Say Something’ partner sends a strong message that federal, state and local law enforcement “are working in lockstep to protect our airport and our community.”

Public service announcements on monitors are running in both the McNamara and North terminals and posters plastered in employee work areas, encouraging people to report suspicious activity, items and individuals — ranging from an unattended bag to someone attempting to access a restricted area.

Anyone who notices something suspicious at the airport should notify Airport Authority police by calling 855-MICH-TIP. (855-642-4847) or 911 in case of emergency.

“One person can make a difference in the fight against terror,” Naughton said.

Meanwhile, Amtrak continues to monitor the events in Istanbul and “maintains a strong security posture to keep our passengers, employees and the railroad safe,” said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman based in Chicago.

“Robust security measures are in place at stations, on trains and along the tracks, and partnerships with federal agencies to gather intelligence information are underway,” Magliari said. “At this time there are no specific or credible threats against Amtrak.”

(313) 222-2620

Twitter: @leonardnfleming