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MacArthur Airport security contract awarded

A Southwest airliner taxis to the terminal at

A Southwest airliner taxis to the terminal at Long Island MacArthur Airport. (Feb. 24, 2011) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Islip Town Board yesterday approved a $2.3 million contract for a Uniondale-based company to provide security at Long Island MacArthur Airport.

The Republican-dominated board voted unanimously to approve the three-year agreement with Summit Security Services, which submitted the second-lowest bid, for $784,916 annually. Summit held the contract during the town’s last Republican administration.

Town officials received seven proposals after issuing a request in May. Three applicants were eliminated because of cost and service issues, said Terry Hennessey, interim airport commissioner. The lowest bidder, FJC Security Services, was rejected after media reports that one of its security officers at Newark Liberty International Airport worked under an alias for two decades, Hennessey said.

Arrow Security, which held the contract that expires July 31, was rejected due to high costs, Hennessey said.

The new contract, which provides security officers charged primarily with policing the airport’s roadways and curbside drop-off area, represents an $800,000 savings to the town. Hennessy said because of fewer flights at the airport, officials were able to reduce security staff hours by 600 hours a week from what was budgeted in the last contract. About a dozen security workers are employed through the contract, complementing the airport’s security forces, which include Transportation Security Administration workers, and both Islip and Suffolk County police.

Councilman John C. Cochrane Jr., who headed the committee that reviewed the proposals, called the security workers “another layer of eyes” and pointed out that the winning bid was the second lowest.

“It’s cheaper to have these people guarding the gate than our own people,” he said.