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Department of Public Safety

Protect and Serve

Under the direction of BNA’s Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President David Griswold, the Department of Public Safety consists of commissioned police officers, fire fighters, traffic enforcement officers and administrative staff.

Our top priority is to provide our guests with a combination of the best safety, security, and customer service possible.

Letter from the Chief

Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President of Public Safety W. David Griswold

"Welcome and thank you for visiting Nashville International Airport (BNA) Police Department's webpage. This webpage is one of the many ways the department strives to communicate with our community members. My goal for this website is to provide you with useful information that will keep you informed and provide you with insights into the Airport Police family..."

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General Information

All sworn police officers meet all FAR Part 1542.217 and FAR part 139 requirements. One-third of the department’s sworn positions are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). Officers utilize foot, bicycle and vehicular patrols to provide safety and public assistance.

Officers work in cooperation with a number of local, state, and federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, FBI, U.S. Customs Service, Federal Aviation Administration, IRS, Secret Service, State Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Postal Inspector, Metropolitan Nashville Police and Fire Departments, and the Metropolitan Nashville Office of Emergency Management.

The Department of Public Safety at BNA utilizes firefighting equipment that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of operating on an airfield. ARFF equipment have much larger water tanks than an average truck. This allows emergency responders to go directly to the scene and handle the situation.

BNA’s ARFF personnel are also trained to communicate with the Air Traffic Control Tower to coordinate movement while operating on an active airfield.

The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) conducts a wide variety of criminal investigations which include fraud, property crimes, drug investigations and any other activity where the airport is used in the facilitation or furtherance of a crime. The division frequently works with the Metro Nashville Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Homeland Security, US Secret Service (USSS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and many other local, state, and federal partners.

This division includes two K9 narcotics detection teams.

BNA’s SWAT Team handles extraordinary situations, including:

  • V.I.P. Protections
  • Hostage Situations
  • Area Containment
  • Other unusual situations (large-scale arrest, barricaded subjects, etc.)

When requested by an on-duty commander, the SWAT unit deploys from different locations to give highly specialized assistance to the uniformed officers already present. Depending on the severity of the situation, the SWAT members sometimes work in conjunction with other specialized teams, including:

  • Crisis Negotiators
  • Hazardous Devices Team
  • Hazardous Materials Unit
  • Other Federal, State, Local Agencies

The Crisis Negotiation Team is comprised of specially selected members of the Department of Public Safety. They can assist other specialized units and outside agencies with a myriad of problems including:

  • Hostage Situations
  • Mentally Ill Persons
  • Suicidal Persons
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Other Unusual Occurrences (Combative Prisoners, etc.)

BNA uses professionals trained in the identification and safe disposal of explosive ordnance, and resolving explosive threats to airport users and property.

The explosive detection K-9 program is controlled by the Transportation Security Administration. The teams receive training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The school is an intensive 12-week training program focused on bonding, socialization, and detection. BNA’s K-9s are used for explosive detection for vehicles, cargo, buildings, aircraft and baggage.

The Hazardous Materials (hazmat) team responds to all hazardous materials incidents on airport property and supports mutual aid departments in hazardous material incidents.

The team is also responsible for responding to off-airport aircraft incidents when requested for mutual aid. Team members are both state and nationally certified, and are equipped with the latest technology to handle up to a Level 3 incident.

The Water Rescue team members pass the International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists (IADRS) Annual Watermanship Test and hold other water rescue certifications. The responsibilities of this team include:

  • Maintaining the water rescue equipment of the department
  • Providing water awareness courses for newly hired personnel
  • Being prepared for mutual aid response
  • Developing strategies for water rescue operations

The officers work mainly in the public parking lots and around the terminal building. Bike patrol officers are more mobile and flexible, allowing them access to places they can’t otherwise access with patrol cars. The officers selected for the program are chosen because of their strong customer service skills.

Officers are trained by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, which is certified through the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA).

One-third of the department’s officers are licensed EMTs. The unit provides advanced emergency medical care to all airport employees and the traveling public. They carry an assortment of EMS equipment, including public access Automated External Defibrillators (AED) and Intravenous Therapy equipment.

The Training Unit is responsible for all new recruit training as well as training the department’s post-certified police officers and firefighters. An officer is assigned to coordinate training for each discipline.

Department of Public Safety at BNA

The Department of Public Safety is dedicated to building community partnerships with our passengers, residents and those within the community we serve. Our team is active within the community, and we embrace our community’s support.

The department participates annually with the Operation Warm event, which generates funds to provide coats for children in need within our community, as well as local toydrives, PENCIL projects, Coffee with a Cop and various advisory boards. Some of these boards include McGavock High School and Vol-State’s Criminal Justice Programs. Community tours are also provided to groups interested in learning more about our department.

Join Our Team

A full listing of open positions and online applications can be found on our Careers page.

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