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Holiday travelers should expect stricter security as threat of terror looms

By Kerry Longobucco.
Startling acts of terrorism have recently shaken the world. As a result, travelers may notice even stricter security as they head to their holiday destinations later this month.

Some local transportation facilities are ramping up their security efforts in order to keep people safe this holiday season. Officials at the Greater Binghamton Airport say passengers should be comforted knowing security is stricter than ever.

"We have security on site. They're at the TSA checkpoint anytime there's flights going on," David Hickling, commissioner of aviation at the Greater Binghamton Airport, said. "There's always a presence. So we're always aware of anything that's unusual. Our staff is always walking around looking for something out of place."

If you're traveling this holiday -- you'll see more uniformed officers standing guard than usual.

"With these recent events, again, visibility of uniforms, to me, is very important," James Dadamio, director of Broome County's security division, said. "I think that goes a long way with the public using our facilities that they come, and they feel safe."

But that security goes beyond uniformed officers. You may notice specially trained dogs around airports and bus stations, helping to sniff out anything suspicious.

"The state police and the sheriff's department have K-9 units," Dadamio said. "And on occasion they will run through the airport doing those sweeps."

A series of training drills will continue this month at the airport. These run-throughs help officers stay sharp.

"A while ago, New York State Police, the Broome County Sheriff's Office and the Broome County Security Division participated in an active shooter drill here in the terminal," Dadamio said.

It's not just security that has to be on their toes. Fellow passengers should also be on the look out for anything that looks suspicious -- like luggage left unattended.

"Be aware of anybody that looks like they're uncomfortable there, or looks suspicious," Hickling said. "People taking photographs of the screening area. People should always look vigilant of things that look suspicious."

The public should inform personnel immediately if they notice anything suspicious.