Including the tasks common to all law enforcement agencies, officers respond to an average 115 calls, ranging from vehicle stops on airport roadways to assisting customers with locked-out vehicles. They also respond to medical and aircraft emergencies, perform security checks on vehicles and respond to door alarms. Another primary mission is to work closely with federal agencies operating at RDU such as the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
With nearly 30,000 people arriving, departing or accompanying travelers to and from the airport each day, officers put a great emphasis on customer service. Being highly visible in the terminals, officers are frequently asked for directions, assistance and general airport information.
“Our officers work in an aviation environment and are keenly aware of how work here differs from other types of law enforcement,” said Chief Waters. “We understand how timely we need to be in our inspections and responses to calls to ensure flights and passengers arrive and depart on time.”
Lost and Found
One of the most frequent areas of contact is lost and found. Thousands of items are inadvertently left by passengers traveling through RDU each year. Since the police department is on duty at all times, they maintain the airport's lost and found, providing a secure setting to store items until they are retrieved or sold at the airport's annual lost and surplus property auction.
In addition to customer service training, officers receive special training in airport related matters. For instance, patrols extend beyond the public network of roadways onto service roads on RDU's airfield that are shared with both vehicles and aircraft. Officers receive training on how to operate cars safely around aircraft and within Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Officers receive 80-120 hours of training each year in technical matters such as police policies, aviation security regulations, weapons training and physical fitness matters. This also includes training and preparation for assisting in aircraft emergencies.
Additionally, law enforcement officers complete tasks such as assisting the airport's Emergency Services Department and other emergency responders on medical calls at the airport. They also provide protection and security for various dignitaries that pass through RDU, as well as sports teams visiting the Research Triangle Region.
Officers are also on hand to provide escorts for passengers from the terminals to the various airport parking facilities. Escorts can be arranged by contacting the Information Desk in each terminal as well as by using any of the courtesy telephones in each terminal.