Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Brownley (D-CA) introduced the Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act, which would allow Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers killed in the line of duty to receive the same benefits as other law enforcement officers under the U.S. Department of Justice Public Safety Officer Benefits Program (PSOB).
“Every day, TSA officers put their lives on the line in order to protect millions of Americans in their travels, both domestically and abroad. Following the tragic shooting of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez at LAX in 2013, I introduced the Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act to ensure that the families of fallen TSA officers receive the same benefits made available to other law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. They deserve nothing less,” said Congresswoman Brownley.
“It is incredibly unfair and unjust that the service provided to the American people by our TSA officers is not given adequate recognition and compensation. This bill corrects that wrong.”
On November 1, 2013, the first Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer, Gerardo Hernandez, was tragically killed in the line of duty. This was the first such incident in the history of the TSA.
Current law does not provide TSA officers with death benefits like those offered to firefighters, police officers, FBI agents, or state troopers. The Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act seeks to remedy this inequity by amending federal law to provide for the eligibility of a TSA officer – who is performing official duties of the Administration, if those official duties are related to protecting the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce – to receive public safety officers’ death benefits.
TSA is comprised of nearly 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals, and managers who protect the nation’s transportation systems by screening for explosives at checkpoints in airports, inspecting rail cars, patrolling subways with law enforcement partners, and working to make all modes of transportation safe. TSA officers perform an important public duty, protecting Americans and the traveling public from threats to our aviation, rail, and transit systems.
The final FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill included a provision to provide public safety officer benefits to the Hernandez family. The Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act would correct this inequity for all officers going forward, including the many TSA Officers who died as a result of workplace-acquired COVID-19 infections.
Read the full text of the bill, here.