In addition to looking out for security infractions,
volunteers in the watch program also participate in
monthly meetings, ride-alongs and canine demonstrations. If they see something or someone suspicious,
trained to file reports. Because officers know the
volunteers, much more likely to regard the reports
as credible, Christianson said.
The program provides the airport with more resources
First Lt. Arlene Henderson
is trained to spot security
violations at her local
while allowing everyday residents to participate in keeping their community safe, she said.
think a lot of people volunteer out of a feeling of
being able to do something as a civic Christianson
said. really gives us an extra set of eyes and ears
around the airport in searching for possible threats to
Involvement requires being at least 18 years old and a
Minnesota resident, and consenting to a background check
and fingerprinting. Volunteers need to have a background in law enforcement to participate in the program.
They range from CAP members like Henderson to reservists from other police departments, Christianson said.
Henderson was the first from her squadron to become
a trained MSP Airport Watch participant, but additional
members of the Anoka County unit, including her commander, Maj. Donald Raleigh, have signed up since.
Raleigh said at the home at Janes Field
two to three nights a week and sometimes on weekends.
So keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, such as
aircraft that normally fly into the airport or cargo
being unloaded late at night or in an unusual manner,
require a lot of additional effort for him or other
CAP members, he said.
Civil Air Patrol our motto is Semper Vigilans, which means Raleigh
said. not part of Civil Air Patrol, the
airport watch program seems to fit in with the
mentality of those of us who do
Efforts are underway to expand the program
to the four airports in the state designated as
reliever airports for MSP International, Christianson said. In addition to the program at
Anoka County-Blaine Airport, a program also
has been started at Flying Cloud Airport in
Henderson said she could easily see similar
programs spreading to other airports in the state and
possibly throughout the country.
In fact, similar programs are in place at airports in
Illinois and Arizona, said Christianson, though they
nearly as robust as in Minnesota.
Henderson said starting similar programs in other
states and participating in existing programs could be a
great mission for senior CAP members.
If the airport watch program can be performed as an
extension of day-to-day activities, Raleigh said, CAP
members could be a significant force multiplier for
airport police departments.
we can do to keep both our airports
and our homeland more secure, I am a big fan of
we can do to keep both our airports and our homeland more secure,
I am a big fan of Maj. Donald Raleigh, commander, Anoka County
54 Civil Air Patrol Volunteer