Friday, August 20, 2004

Look Sharp. Feel Sharp. Be Sharp 

The obliging souls at the Federal Air Marshals Service are doing their damnedest to ensure that Annie Jacobsen can fly to New York without pitching another hissy fit. From the NY Daily News (via Skimble):
New York-based federal air marshals must look their natty best when flying during the GOP lovefest, according to an internal directive obtained by the Daily News.

Between Aug. 29 and Sept. 3, "all [New York] FAMs (federal air marshals) will be required to wear coat and tie on all domestic missions," wrote New York Special Agent-in-Charge Felix Jimenez in an E-mail to marshals on Friday. The convention runs Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

The order was given so that marshals on shuttle flights between Washington and New York would "blend in" with conventioneers, sources said.

But some marshals - who object to the overall policy of looking official instead of undercover - were outraged.

"They want all these people going to the convention to know there are marshals on the flights," said one of the sky cops. "It's just a big public relations stunt" . . . .

Marshals, who have been feuding with management over the practice of wearing "professional attire" even when traveling to vacation cities such as Orlando or Las Vegas, fear terrorist hijackers will target conspicuous-looking air marshals to get their loaded handguns during a flight.

In an E-mail to other agency executives last May, Federal Air Marshal Service Director Thomas Quinn wrote, "A sport coat should be the minimum!!!"

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