Safety and security are not only a passion for Assistant Security Director and Western Regional Safety Manager JT Turner, but a way of life. It’s obvious in everything he does. From the casual confidence with which JT carries himself, earned from a lifetime of serving in law enforcement, specifically SWAT and hostage negotiations, to the easy smile and helping hand he has for everyone he meets. There’s no safer place to be than in JT’s care.
With his background and expertise, JT came to AGI to teach an emergency preparedness course, but it was soon clear that he brought so much more to the table. Beginning his law enforcement career in the Air Force, he says that it’s like coming full circle finishing his career in this business. “I love the airport and airline business. And Emergency Preparedness is my thing. Anything that can make anybody safer here is important to me.”
JT approaches the urgency that goes along with his work by reminding staff that what they do is a dangerous job. “People tend to marginalize what they do. They don’t realize it is dangerous. Working around heavy equipment, you can harm yourself, or others catastrophically.” He also goes on to say, “When you’ve been placed in situations I have, when you see a lot of death, you take things for granted. So, I tell these guys that your goal every day is not to move things the fastest way you can possibly move them. Your goal is to go home exactly the way you came here. And never take that for granted.”
When talking about how he can help keep people safe, JT emphasizes process. Everything he does at AGI has a training aspect to it. He finds one of the biggest challenges is to remind the younger crew to take their time. To be patient with themselves as they learn and not to try to move at the pace of the veterans. Maintaining the process and doing things the same way each time is vital.
JT makes sure the staff knows what they do is appreciated. He says, “We’re only as good as our weakest link here. Positive reinforcement, a little less on the negative, but they understand I am firm, but fair. Managers have said it’s like I’m some kind of team captain because these guys cheer after I’m done speaking to them. That’s good. I want them to feel good about who they are and what they’re doing because that extends to how they feel about their profession.”
He believes AGI’s culture is safer with him because he worked with the previous manager, and they recognized that this was a culture change from the top. It’s something he says he preaches at every station: you have to have support from the top. “They have to believe that you believe. Safety can be a business of slogans, but if we’re not believing it, we’re not living it, it’s certainly not going to help anything.”
Part of the way JT embodies this belief is by being on the front end of things and interfacing with other professionals and industry people. He’s always happy to share his wisdom and expertise to make everyone safer. He’s involved in community safety programs and serves on the airport safety committee. He thrives on the trust that’s placed in him both by staff and clients.
When asked about his favorite part of coming to work, JT says, “It’s a new challenge every day. Never the same. Kinda like law enforcement. I think that people really trust me with the message that I bring and that I represent the company the way it should be represented. That makes me feel good about doing what I do.”
With safety and security a priority, coupled with care and excellence, you’ll feel good about how JT and AGI do what they do, too. For more information about how to be part of a team that people like JT keep safe while keeping our customers’ cargo moving, visit our careers page or reach out to us on Facebook or LinkedIn to learn more and apply today.