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Union: Chicago Airport Security Officers Should Carry Guns

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A cry for change from the union representing police officers at Chicago's airports: They want guns.

The union sent a letter to city officials Thursday warning them that they are not equipped to confront a terrorist threat.

Surveillance images from Istanbul's airport show how an armed officer gunned down one of the suicide bombers.

"As people see that, they understand the importance of people being armed in the airport," says Matt Brandon, SEIU Local 73.

But at Chicago's airports, more than 300 department of aviation officers don't have that capability.

"The patch on their shoulder says 'police officer,' and the vehicle that they drive says 'police officer' and the Department of Aviation is registered as a law-enforcement agency, but yet their officers are unarmed," Ward 29 Ald. Chris Taliaferro says.

What's more troubling is what these officers are trained to do in the event of an attack.

"The federal training for these officers by from the TSA says that they should run and hide, which is absolutely ridiculous," Brandon says.

Taliaferro, who also objects to that strategy, proposed an ordinance in April to change that.

"It's currently in the Public Safety Committee. Right now, I've been given no indication as to if or when we can have public hearings on it," he says.

The Chicago Department of Aviation says current security measures keep people safe at the city's airports.

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