Federal Air Marshals Called an ‘Agency in Crisis’

It is intended to be a final line of defense towards a Sept. 11-model assault, but a federal program that places armed undercover guards on commercial airliners is in this sort of disarray that it does little to discourage terrorists, numerous of its employees inform the New York Situations and is becoming investigated by Congress. Alcohol abuse among some in the Federal Air Marshal Services is so rampant that the Transportation Safety Administration has had to check no matter if the armed guards show up for their flights sober. Female and minority air marshals reported they faced discrimination at do the job, which includes becoming subjected to sexually express messages and racist jokes and memes despatched on federal government-issued cellphones. Other air marshals reported they were fired or threatened with termination for small infractions, though misconduct by managers was missed.

Just 22 p.c of the marshals considered their leaders managed “high specifications of honesty and integrity,” in accordance to a federal employee study final yr, a person of the least expensive rankings among companies. Congress has questioned the Governing administration Accountability Office, its investigative arm, to review the place of work complaints lifted by air marshals. The air marshals see their work as very important to efforts to guard airplanes and airports from terrorist assaults. Interviews with more than two dozen previous and latest federal air marshals describe an company in disaster. Burnout is high. Morale is very low. Some of those people interviewed reported they were informed of colleagues who had committed suicide or tried it. Just about all explained position-relevant health and fitness complications a person marshal reported he had melancholy, slumber apnea and dizzy spells.

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