Thousand Oaks, CA — One year ago today, on November 1, 2013, the first Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer was tragically killed in the line of duty. This was the first such incident in the history of the TSA. Unfortunately, current law does not provide TSA officers with death benefits like those offered to firefighters, police officers, FBI agents, or state troopers.
To remedy this inequity, Congresswoman Julia Brownley introduced the Honoring our Fallen TSA Officers Act (H.R. 4026). Brownley’s bill would amend federal law to provide for the eligibility of a TSA employee – 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. On March 28, 2014, Brownley participated in a House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security hearing at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) at which Administrator Pistole expressed support for Brownley’s bill.
“It has been one year since the tragic death of Officer Hernandez, and yet, Congress has failed to pass legislation to correct the inequity in federal law that prevented the Hernandez family from qualifying for the Public Safety Officer Benefits program,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I call on Speaker Boehner to correct this injustice and bring my bill to the floor for a vote.”
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.