AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Police departments across our region have struggled to keep a full staff. Now, that’s affecting the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.
The airport needs a police presence and they’ve turned to the district attorney’s office for help. The Luzerne County Council is voting Tuesday night on whether or not to make that happen. As It would require a new position to be made. But, the position is needed for everyone’s safety and security at the airport.
If you’re going through security at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport, you may notice the bins and of course TSA. But you may not always realize a law enforcement officer standing by watching for someone disorderly.
“Or someone trying to bring items onto an airplane that are technically not allowed we need somebody with arrest powers to be on site that can respond immediately,” said Sam Sanguedolce, Luzerne County District Attorney.
The airport needs officers as Avoca police had provided that coverage in the past, but that contract was recently terminated. So, AVP approached the Luzerne County DA’s Office.
“Surrounding departments obviously have little resources and it’s very difficult to find part-time officers right now to cover, we were approached I think for that reason,” explained Sanguedolce. “There is a rush to get it staffed.”
AVP needed officers to staff security checkpoints this week. So Luzerne County Task Force Officers are at the airport now putting a rush on the council’s vote.
“We got an extension from TSA to basically have this meeting hopefully everything goes smoothly and we’ll be up and running immediately,” said Sanguedolce.
The vote will create a new position for new hires. It will be part-time, $18 an hour. The council takes it to a vote Tuesday at 6 p.m.