WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington International Airport has entered into an agreement with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services at the airport. That means some long-time ILM employees will lose their jobs.
Effective Nov. 1, the sheriff’s office will provide law enforcement support at the airport. The last day for the ILM public safety officers will be Oct. 31.
Airport Director Julie Wilsey sent a letter to ILM tenants Wednesday saying the decision was a difficult one.
WECT obtained a copy of the letter from New Hanover County Commissioner Julia Boseman who serves on the airport authority.
“The decision to transfer law enforcement to the Sheriff was a very difficult one to make, but it was made in the best interest of the operation,” Wilsey wrote. “As a tenant and partner, you will not see any changes to security of the Terminal. In fact, Chief Gary Taylor will be our liaison with the Sheriff’s Department and remain as Operations Manager and Chief of Public Safety.”
The airport authority is expected to approve the agreement at a meeting next week.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners is expected to give their approval during its meeting on Sept. 16.
“Sheriff McMahon is looking forward to providing law enforcement services for Wilmington International Airport. We have had a long-standing relationship with ILM and honored to have the opportunity to develop another partnership,” said Lt. Jerry Brewer, spokesperson for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “By providing this service we intend on keeping the safety and security of the public, travelers and staff an utmost priority.”
The ILM public safety officers affected by the pending agreement will have the opportunity to apply with the sheriff’s office, Brewer added.
TSA workers, who are federal employees, will not impacted by this change.