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      Syracuse Council considers privatizing security at Hancock Airport

      Should a private security company replace Syracuse Police officers at Hancock International Airport?

      The Syracuse Common Council took up that question Monday at City Hall.

      Lawmakers considered legislation to provide up to $2.7 million to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority to hire G4S Secure Solutions to take over much of the security at the airport.

      Monday afternoon, lawmakers approved legislation to provide up to $2.7 million to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority to hire G4S Secure Solutions. The Airport Authority sees private security as a way to save about $2 million dollars over the cost of paying Syracuse Police officers on overtime. The Authority is trying to cut costs at the airport in hopes of attracting more airlines to increase competition and lower air fares. The Authority voted in favor of pursuing the contract with G4S Secure Solutions on March 9th.

      The President of the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association says he will file an unfair labor practices complaint against the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority. The complaint follows a decision by the Syracuse Common Council to go along with an authority recommendation to privatize security at Hancock International Airport.

      Jeffrey Piedmonte told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that the Airport Authority refused to bargain in good faith with the city police in deciding to hire G4S Secure Solutions to take over security at the airport.

      He says officers were prepared to negotiate a flat rate that would be cheaper than what the private security company would charge. Piedmonte also says the PBA may seek a court injunction to block the contract.

      At the March 9th meeting, the head of the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association , Jeffrey Piedmonte said the PBA may consider filing an "unfair labor practices" complaint with the Public Employee Relations Board. Piedmonte said the officers were not given a chance to negotiate a way to lower the costs of paying police officers.

      Currently, many of the Syracuse Police officers who patrol the airport are on overtime and are paid as much as $60.00 per hour including benefits.

      The police presence is separate from the Transportation Security Administration employees who screen passengers and baggage at Hancock International.