Police chief says airport security is tighter 1 year after stowaway incident


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CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe said Tuesday that security has gotten tighter at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport one year after investigators say a teenager climbed into the wheel well of a plane and then died.

It's the first time Monroe has spoken out about the changes since April, when CMPD released a report detailing inadequacies in airport security and what needed to be done.

The report recommended that the airport "increase the law enforcement allocations" there and improve "the relationship between CLT and CMPD."

Monroe said police officers have been training inside and outside the airport.

"We're going to be sending a number of sworn CMPD officers out to the airport on the full-time basis to help complement the police officers, the airport police officers, that are currently out there," he said, adding that he hopes to have them assigned there by the end of the year.

Eyewitness News also asked him about what he's referred to in the past as "electronic enhancements" and "structural changes" at the airport. For security reasons, he said he cannot be more specific.

"I can say a great deal of them have already been put in motion," he said.

Officials say on Nov. 15, 2010, 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale snuck into the wheel well of a plane and later fell to his death near Boston.

TIMELINE: Delvonte Tisdale death investigation

The Tisdales' attorney, Christopher Chestnut, said the family is no closer to finding out how it happened. He said the day has been emotional for them.

"The family is still waiting for answers and the grief is still raw and open," he said.

Despite the recent steps, he said the family won't be satisfied until they receive the full report from the TSA.

"If they would say what happened and how it happened, then I could say it's a step in the right direction," Chestnut said.

Airport Director Jerry Orr said on the phone he couldn't comment.

Airport officials later released a statement saying they "constantly review and implement improvements to enhance security operations and elements every day. This results in various security changes and additions. As per our policy, we do not discuss details of our Airport Security operations."

Previous Stories: April 21, 2011: Former Federal Agent: Tisdale Report 'Pathetic' April 20, 2011: Attorney: Tisdale's Family Disappointed With CMPD Report April 19, 2011: Timeline In Tisdale Death Investigation December 13, 2010: Airport Officials Cooperating With TSA In Tisdale Investigation December 13, 2010: Statement From Charlotte Douglas On Tisdale Investigation November 24, 2010: Vigil Honors Charlotte Teen Found Dead After Disappearance November 23, 2010: Police Look Into Possibility Teen Fell From Plane November 20, 2010: Classmates Share Memories Of Missing Student