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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Some changes are coming to security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport starting in December.
Law enforcement public safety operations at the airport will be functionally consolidated under the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, a statement issued by City Manager Curt Walton said Thursday.
Currently, there are two public safety agencies at the Airport. Airport police officers, who are supervised by a CMPD captain, report to the Airport. CMPD security staff report to CMPD. The two will merge and CMPD will be in charge.
WBTV talked to travelers at the airport Thursday.
Meanu Kayea, of Charlotte, said he was all for the change. "I think it's comforting that CMPD will be there," he said. "It lets people know the big boys are on the block."
The decision to make the change was based on a review conducted, and recommendations made by CMPD and the airport for enhanced security in and around airport operations.
City officials tell WBTV the review started last year after security breaches at the airport. The recommendation is to consolidate police.
Most notably, the case of Delvonte Tisdale. The teenager somehow breached security to stowaway in the wheel well of a plane last year. He fell to his death as the plane approached Boston.
Christy Cabaniss, whose husband travels frequently, thinks the city made a smart move.
"Anytime you can see a weakness and this is important, we're talking about travel," she said.
Kayea said security must be the top priority.
"I think it's going to make people think twice," he said. "They're going to be on their "Ps and Qs."
Resources for the switch were included in the budget approved in June, officials told WBTV.
The transition to integrate current airport and CMPD security staff under CMPD authority will begin on December 15.