Atlanta Airport GM says facility is safe

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Despite some recent serious crimes, the manager of Atlanta’s airport says the facility is safe.

John Selden, the general manager, says the data tells the story of a good safety record given the hundreds of thousands of people who are in and out of the airport daily.

On Monday, police had to disarm a man who presented a knife in a heavily traveled section of the atrium. Atlanta officers used a Taser on the man. That man tried to smoke inside the building.

Seventy-two hours earlier, a female airlines employee became a sex crime victim when a passenger came up on her from behind and grabbed her waist.

The gate agent complained it took the first officer at least fifteen minutes to come to the location in the T Concourse.

RELATED: Airline employee victim of sex crime at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Selden told staff to review the timing of the response. Emergency communications records show the call and dispatch took roughly half the time the victim estimated.

"When something happens to you," Selden said, "I understand the time can seem longer."

But Selden added no one -- not a worker nor a passenger -- should have to endure that kind of assault.

A co-worker of the woman jumped in immediately and pulled the man off of the gate agent.

The airport does not station officers at the various concourses.

The union representing the Atlanta police officers says more police are needed to cover the vast complex.

The general manager says it is more effective to use mobile patrols, including on bikes, to provide periodic coverage to all areas of the airport.

He has also agreed to a request from Chief Erika Shields to approve extra funding to hire retired cops to supplement the full-time patrols.

RELATED: Police: Man pulls knife on officers at Atlanta's airport