Measures of Air Marshall Effectives

Via Bruce Schneier, comes this statement from Tennessee Congressman Jimmy Duncan:

Actually, there have been many more arrests of Federal air marshals than that story reported, quite a few for felony offenses. In fact, more air marshals have been arrested than the number of people arrested by air marshals.

We now have approximately 4,000 in the Federal Air Marshals Service, yet they have made an average of just 4.2 arrests a year since 2001. This comes out to an average of about one arrest a year per 1,000 employees.

Now, let me make that clear. Their thousands of employees are not making one arrest per year each. They are averaging slightly over four arrests each year by the entire agency. In other words, we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest. Let me repeat that: we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That’s fine to limit the spending on this…until there’s a preventable disaster in-air. Then we’d again be questioning why we hadn’t paid for more adequate protection!

  2. Dude, check the spelling in your titles. Marshal, not marshall. On April 8, remain, not ramain.

  3. I’m not saying the air marshal program is all that great, but judging any law enforcement’s effectiveness solely on the number of arrests is flawed.

  4. I have trouble imagining a “terrorist” saying, my god, there might be an air marshal, so let’s just forget that revenge that I have sworn to take. As for air rage, well, I am not sure that it really deters that either. In fact, I am having trouble imagining what it would deter. Really clumsy and obvious pickpocketing perhaps.

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