Originally created 09/21/00

Comment on airport cops unjust

Regarding the Sept. 12 article about Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field:

The comments made by interim airport Director Tim Weegar, in reference to the former airport police officers, were uncalled for, incorrect, and unjust. I was an airport police patrol officer from November 1984 to July 1989, when I was appointed to the position of chief of airport police, which I held until May 1999.

During that time, there were three airport directors; the late J. Hampton Manning, Steve Atha and Albert McDill. The policy of all three was that the airport police strictly enforce the airport parking regulations by issuing parking violation citations (tickets) to violators.

Mr. Weegar was the airport operations manager under Mr. McDill and my immediate supervisor. In that capacity, he was well aware of the parking enforcement policy. My officers were not "grumpy" and were as helpful to the passengers as they could possibly be.

Also, the "Gestapo-like uniforms" were approved for wear by the airport director many years ago, even before my time at the airport. Those uniforms presented a professional appearance and were very neat. I can't say the same thing for the uniforms that the airport police now wear.

There have been many changes at the airport recently, undoubtedly due to Mr. Weegar's efforts to improve it. But I am disappointed and offended by Mr. Weegar's derogatory comments about the former airport police officers. They were dedicated and security-conscious police officers who worked under great pressure with little appreciation shown for their efforts.

William C. Farkas, Augusta


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