Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport privatizes police

roa-officers

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – For the first time, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has its own police, fire and EMS department.

Seven airport conservators of the peace were sworn is as police officers by Hon. Charles N. Dorsey, the chief justice of the Roanoke City Circuit Court, on Wednesday morning.

“It feels good,” said Ben Cook, the airport’s director of public safety and a former police chief. “You never lose that feeling of wanting to serve to public, ever, or for me at least. It just feels really good to be in the uniform.”

The officers are trained in police and fire and EMS to be able to handle an array of situations. Now, officers at the airport can obtain warrants and conduct their own investigations as opposed to before where most matters were handled by Roanoke City Police Department.

“Here we can address is on site without having to call 911 and so, it just allows us that flexibility to help passengers should they need that assistance,’ said Brad Boettcher, ROA’s director of marketing and air services.

The officers now have access to a larger crime database, as well as training programs at the Roanoke Police Academy.

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