Airport police take axe, large blade from homeless man
ATLANTA - Police at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport say they confiscated an axe and a straight razor blade from a homeless man who was at a carousel taking luggage.
The encounter, as well as a separate incident at the checkpoint on Wednesday, prompted a high level meeting among top airport officials.
"I am shocked," said Michael Bond, a member of the City Council Public Safety Panel. "If a traveler had gotten into it with the individual, he could have been harmed or killed."
Bond also learned about an attempted breach by another street person stopped by police and TSA.
Cold weather brings extra homeless to Hartsfield-Jackson. Bond said the numbers who suffer from some sort of mental impairment are increasing.
The managers at the airport acknowledged something additional must be done. The homeless are offered assistance through an organization called the HOPE team. But the vast majority do not want the help.
Police officers are tired of dealing with the vagrants. They complain there is no consistent policy on whether to remove them or let them sleep on the floor and, in some case, hassle the travelers.