Over a Decade After 9/11, KCI Still Lacks Security Cameras

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If there's one place in Kansas City that you figured had 100-percent surveillance coverage, it's probably Kansas City International Airport. That's what 43-year old Matthew Coombes assumed after he was arrested at the airport in August of 2011.

Coombes was hoping surveillance video would exonerate him after he was charged with breach of security and interference with a peace officer. Instead, his arrest has revealed that more than a decade after 9/11, KCI doesn't have security cameras everywhere it wants them.

"On my incident it would've shown that basically everything I said was true that I didn't commit any crime." said Coombes.

Coombes legal troubles began after he tried to find a bathroom while waiting for a connecting flight at KCI.  He says airport signs directed him to a restroom in the terminal even though it turns out there was a bathroom in the gate area.  When Coombes realized he should've never left his gate area and would have to pass through airport security again he says he asked TSA agents how to file a complaint.  Instead he says airport police roughed him up and arrested him.

"All I asked for was there anywhere I could go, is there anyway I could contact customer service to the airport and they kept saying we're not telling you that, we refuse to tell you that," said Coombes.

It's impossible to know if Coombes arrest was captured on video because by the time he was appointed an attorney and the attorney asked for the video, more than a year had gone by and KCI doesn't save video that long.

But airport officials admit the video may never have existed because even now KCI has many of its cameras covered in tape. "They're not online yet," said airport spokesman Joe McBride.  He says the airport doesn't have complete surveillance video coverage because, "We have funding issues, that took awhile to get in place to enhance the camera coverage."

McBride says the airport is spending $9.3 million dollars to enhance security, which will includes hundreds of additional cameras by this summer.

Matthew Coombes says it's hard to believe KCI doesn't already have all the cameras it needs.

"In this age of terrorism after what happened on 9/11, I think it's a total breach of security at KCI," said Coombes.

McBride told FOX 4 he can't reveal for security reasons what percentage of KCI is under surveillance but says the airport will have more than a thousand surveillance cameras operational by this summer.

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