Marshals Say Security Has Not Improved

More than two months have passed since 17 air marshals from throughout the country challenged their management to improve security. On Thursday, they said nothing has changed.

"I took this job to make people safer, and I came forward to make people safer ... and yet nothing still has happened ... nothing's changed," said federal air marshal Spencer Pickard.

The air marshals said their managers have failed to protect their undercover status in the airport, on the airplanes and in hotels.

In light of Thursday morning's terror scares, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, made a statement to address heightened security at airports.

"As a precaution, the federal government is taking immediate steps to increase security measures with respect to aviation," said Chertoff.

"When I got up this morning I saw Chertoff talking about how we're doing everything we can do to make aviation safe in the United States of America, and that is absolutely not true," said Pickard.

Pickard was the first federal air marshal to challenge the security failures inside his agency. He remains on administrative leave with pay while under investigation. He said the news of the past 24 hours only intensifies the need for immediate change.

"Clearly, they're still interested in aviation and, clearly, they're still coming after us as as a country," said Pickard.

7NEWS spoke with managers at the Federal Air Marshal Service Thursday. They said they are not willing to discuss any changes or improvements being made within the agency to anyone outside the Federal Air Marshal Service.

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