Massachusetts governor unveils new security measures at Boston airport

By Steve LeBlanc Associated Press Writer
Wednesday October 03, 2001

BOSTON — Acting Gov. Jane Swift unveiled new security steps Tuesday that include a new chief of security at Logan International Airport, where hijackers boarded the two planes that smashed into the World Trade Center. 

State Police Superintendent Col. John DiFava replaces Joseph Lawless, who was reassigned to oversee security at the Port of Boston. 

“That two of those planes took off from Logan airport is particularly painful for us,” Swift said. 

She also announced the creation of a State Police anti-terrorism unit and a new cabinet-level position — Director of Commonwealth Security — that mirrors President Bush’s decision to create an Office of Homeland Security. 

“Three weeks ago, a vicious terrorist attack changed our world,” Swift said. “As we continue to grieve for those lost, we are beginning to understand the new realities facing the nation and our commonwealth.” 

She urged officials in Washington to federalize security at airports, which is now provided by airlines. 

Lawless, who was appointed in 1993 as Massport’s head of public safety, came under increasing scrutiny after the hijackings of American Flight 11 and United Flight 175. 

Lawless has said the hijackers apparently boarded the flights without violating existing security measures. 

DiFava, a law enforcement officer with 26 years of experience, will serve in the new role for 45 days while a committee studies what steps Logan must take to improve security. 

Swift is proposing $26 million for public safety expenses this year as a result of the attacks.