Fatal shooting of dog at airport raises concerns about security - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fatal shooting of dog at airport raises concerns about security firm

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  • Family whose dog was fatally shot at airport said guard overreacted

    Family whose dog was fatally shot at airport said guard overreacted

    Thursday, March 30 2017 12:15 AM EDT2017-03-30 04:15:40 GMT
    (Image: Ronnie May Andrade-Ramos/Facebook)(Image: Ronnie May Andrade-Ramos/Facebook)
    A dog owner is desperate for answers from airport authorities after she says her beloved pit bull was wrongfully shot and killed by a security guard at the Honolulu International Airport on Tuesday night. "It just freaks me out ... that close to gunfire. Me, my daughter, my dog, and my boyfriend," said Leisha Ramos. When the incident happened, Ramos said, she was sitting in a grassy area near the Inter-island terminal baggage claim, holding her five-month-ol...More >>
    A dog owner is desperate for answers from airport authorities after she says her beloved pit bull was wrongfully shot and killed by a security guard at the Honolulu International Airport on Tuesday night. "It just freaks me out ... that close to gunfire. Me, my daughter, my dog, and my boyfriend," said Leisha Ramos. When the incident happened, Ramos said, she was sitting in a grassy area near the Inter-island terminal baggage claim, holding her five-month-ol...More >>
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The shooting of a family dog by a Securitas private security officer at Honolulu International Airport is another black eye for the private security company paid $35 million a year by the state, a state lawmaker said.

Last year, several Securitas employees pleaded guilty to theft for their role in the airport taxi bribery scheme. The state alleged that several security workers solicited thousands of dollars in bribes from cab drivers at the airport.

"Unfortunately there's been many cases and incidents that have raised a red flag and one wonders whether Securitas as a private contractor is the right company," said state Sen. Will Espero, whose district includes Ewa Beach.

In the past, Securitas' responsibilities were limited to security for checkpoint, fences and entry-ways, critics said.

But more recently, they said, the company's responsibilities were expanded to allow their officers to make arrests, handle medical emergencies and carry weapons. Company uniforms, which identified some workers as "airport police," reflected those expanded powers.

A lawsuit by the Hawaii Government Employees Association says having private armed guards at the airport exposes the state to legal liability. It says the state sheriffs should police the airport.

"Certainly the more important positions where life and death decisions are made and public safety is a key element, then that should be state law enforcement officials," said Espero.

The lawsuit is pending.

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