by: Holly Maynard Updated:
An airport insider has raised concerns about how prepared airport police officers are for the DNC. They tell Channel 9 the airport will be secure and safe, but there are many "what if" scenarios, and that's where the concerns begin.
The person who works at Charlotte Douglas said officers do not have protective shields or Tasers to use in case there are protests or other mass events that take place at the airport.
Protesters are expected the week of the DNC, and they could organize at the airport. Channel 9 had paperwork from the last Republican National Convention in which protesters detailed plans to disrupt airport shuttles.
Officials at Charlotte Douglas confirmed that shields and Tasers are not part of officers' normal equipment, but they couldn't discuss security or security protocols with regards to the DNC.
The airport insider also said people were concerned about the officers' parking situation. They said all airport police officers park off-site and then take a shuttle to the airport.
Some are worried that so many officers on shuttles at the same time, instead of dispersed around the airport, is a bad idea.
The airport said for security purposes they could not confirm where police park their vehicles. However, officers do not leave their shift until the next shift has arrived. Therefore, according to airport officials, there is never a concern about shift changes and officers accessing their work sites.
Channel 9 was also told that if police officers make several arrests, there are just two holding cells.
When we asked the airport about this, they said, "The airport has a number of holding cells on the premises that are available for usage...." and that the airport "will receive support from a number of agencies during the DNC."
The airport is owned and operated by the City of Charlotte. The airport said if an event requires external resources, the city would activate other resources, such as CMPD to protect city property and citizens.
Some travelers Eyewitness News spoke with were confident the airport will be prepared.
"I've never had a problem here. I've had problems at other airports but never here," said Marylou Iantosca.
Eyewitness News contacted some members of Charlotte City Council's Safety Committee. Councilman Andy Dulin said he was not aware of these concerns, but he thinks the airport is more than capable of handling any problems that may arise.