My Life As An Air Cop

As new marshals take to the skies, a TIME reporter is the first to train with them. A look at the rigors

Arms locked out in front of me, I sweep my .357 semiautomatic pistol back and forth across the panicked passengers. My heart is thumping wildly, my breathing too rapid. Fighting the tunnel vision that comes from fear, I try to remember to scan the plane for threats. Just seconds earlier, I had heard the first bloodcurdling yell--"They're stabbing people back here!"

My partner had gone to the back to take on the attackers, and I had drawn my gun, rushing to the front of the first-class cabin and shouting "Police! Police! Police!" I whirled and faced the passengers, with my back...

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