SAN JOSE (KCBS)- Mineta San Jose International Airport officials are considering a controversial move to cut security costs.

The airport is looking at the possibility of hiring private personnel to replace city police and firefighters, but no final decision has been made yet.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

San Jose International spokesman David Vossbrink said the airport must reduce expenses in order to be competitive.

“Now that we have a beautiful new airport, we need to get flights back,” said Vossbrink.

One option, he said, could be to replace the 41 police officers and 12 firefighters currently deployed at the airport.

“We estimate, based on our scan of the industry, that we could probably reduce our public safety cost by about $10 million a year from where we are now.”

Vossbrink added that airport officials are pleased with the work done by police and firefighters, but the cost is the issue.

Meanwhile, San Jose’s public safety unions have raised concern about the idea.

According to George Beattie, President of the San Jose Police Officers Association, “It has more to do about a business model that saves money than it does about providing the proper security for men and women that fly out of the airport.”

Airport officials could bring their ideas to the San Jose City Council in April.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. Richie Gaud says:

    Isn’t the nation trying to increase security at the airports? Seems to me that San Jose is trying to do exactly the opposite at the expense of the traveler’s security and safety. Does it really take a college degree to know that this should’ve been part of the planning when the talks about remodeling started? This was either blatantly pre-meditated or very lousy planning!

  2. concerned citizen says:

    Hiring private security and fire fighters won’t decrease security, just save money. The airport should also dump the TSA and hire a private group to do passenger screening at well. The TSA is inept.

  3. Judith Shipstad says:

    The San Jose Airport definitely needs to get the SJPD off its premesis. Sadly they have brought the same aggression to our airport as they employ in the rest of the city and for which they are known nationally. SJC is the rightful jurisdiction of the TSA, not these thugs with badges who call themselves cops.

  4. W says:

    I think private security is a good idea – save money and with the same kind of protection too. Go for it!

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