AP Exclusive: TSA mulls phone policy post-shooting

TAMI ABDOLLAH Associated Press Published:

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Transportation Security Administration is considering a policy change that would allow screeners to carry cellphones so they can quickly call for help in an emergency.

The proposal is part of an ongoing review of the response to a shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport that left a TSA officer dead. A TSA official close to the investigation wasn't authorized to speak publically about the ongoing probe and disclosed the proposal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

In November, TSA officers -- who are unarmed -- fled the screening area without hitting a panic button or using a landline to call for help when the shooting started. Officers were summoned by an airport contractor who called for help.

The no-cellphone policy is to limit distractions for screeners.

The suspected gunman, Paul Ciancia, faces murder and other charges.