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Broward County will examine security after Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

FLL Airportpeoplerunning


The security at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has been beefed up in the short-term in response to the shooting but Broward County has made no decisions about any long-term changes to security.

The Broward Sheriff's Office provides security to the airport -- a $17 million expense that is paid from fees paid by airlines and airport vendors. Broward has enough money in that fund to pay for the overtime incurred by deputies since the shooting, County Administrator Bertha Henry said.

The bulk of the security budget pays for 116 full-time employees, according to a budget document. 

Airport and county officials are focused on handling the immediate aftermath of the shooting and have not made any decisions about long-term security changes. On Friday afternoon, the airport held a ceremony to honor the victims and reopen the area of Terminal 2 in the baggage claim where the shooting occurred. The area now has new carpet and the ceiling was painted leaving no physical signs of the shooting other than a sign inviting the public to leave memorials.

County Commissioners held a two-and-a-half hour closed-door meeting to discuss airport security Tuesday following the Jan. 6th shooting that left five people dead. Florida law allows public bodies to meet in private to discuss the security of government buildings.

If the county proposes an increase in funding, that will be brought to a future open county commission meeting, though no date has been set, Henry said. 

Airport stakeholders will hold a meeting next week to discuss lessons learned from the shooting, said director of airport security Frank Capello. Later, the county will undergo a formal review -- possibly done by an outside entity -- of the county's response to the shooting. After a 2013 shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport that left a TSA agent dead and others injured, officials with the help of a consultant wrote a 99-page report that included several recommendations to improve public safety. 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel sent a letter Wednesday to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson seeking federal reimbursement. On Friday, Nelson, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and several members of South Florida's Democratic congressional delegation sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson seeking federal dollars for Broward.

BSO is in the process of tallying the cost of the response and had no estimate for the Miami Herald Friday afternoon.