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Police Officers Would Get $5.1 Million in Overtime Pay in Airport Security Plan

PHOENIX, AZ (AP) - The City Council will consider a plan Wednesday that would net police officers $5.1million in overtime pay as part of an 18-month deal to replace the Arizona National Guard soldiers at Sky Harbor International Airport.

The federal government, which took over aviation security operations, has agreed to reimburse Phoenix for the expenses.

City police already help with some security at the airport.

"This is happening at airports nationwide," said Sky Harbor spokeswoman Suzanne Luber.

The Transportation Security Administration is unable to substitute the soldiers with its own guards, said agency spokeswoman Rebecca Trexler.

An undisclosed number of uniformed officers are posted at Sky Harbor's security checkpoints and metal detectors and they also patrol terminals.

The officers would begin working overtime when the Arizona National Guard leaves the airport in two weeks.

Phoenix increased the number of officers at the airport after the Sept. 11 attacks on the East Coast despite the presence of National Guard soldiers there.

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