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Tag: screeners

Should TSA Fire Staffers After 11 Passengers Weren’t Screened at JFK Airport?

1024px-welcome_john_f-_kennedy_international_airport_signBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eleven passengers managed to get past a checking point at JFK Airport without being screened last week, prompting outrage from law enforcement.

Although three of those passengers set off a metal-detector alarm, they were able to walk on without the TSA alerting Port Authority police for two hours.

In a statement, the TSA wrote, “Once our review is complete, TSA will discipline and retrain employees.”

The TSA pledged to take “appropriate action” against the responsible workers.

In an editorial last week, the New York Post called for the termination of the employees involved. 

Retraining. Appropriate action. How about fired? Sorry, no: TSA staff are a protected branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, one with the hilarious motto: “Stronger Union, Safer Skies.”

Private-sector workers who mess up so badly as to put lives in jeopardy would be gone in a heartbeat. Heck, they’d be fired for far less serious breaches.

Somewhere along the road to making America great again, Mr. President, how about privatizing the damn TSA to end all the maddening “security theater?”

Other Stories of Interest

Federal Lawmakers Propose Widely Different Ways to Tackle Long Lines at Airports

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Lawmakers are offering potential solutions to long wait times at airport.

After Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, suggested $28 million in extra funding for three busy northeast airports, another lawmaker suggesting adding private screeners.

The Hill reports that Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., wants the TSA to use more private screeners.

Of the 472 commercial airports, only 22 have help from private contractors.

“My question is: why?” Black said. “Congress must ensure that TSA culture and policies aren’t standing in the way of allowing businesses the ability to compete for these opportunities.”

Black also wants a realistic cost of private contractors.

“Congress can’t keep throwing taxpayer money at a broken agency that, by every metric, is failing our travelers, without demanding reform,” Black said.

Other Stories of Interest

TSA Head: Screeners Shouldn’t Have to Worry About Speeding Up Lines

airport lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, airport lines have become longer and more unpredictable.

Recently, pressure has been placed on airport screeners to speed up the process when lines get too long.

But TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said it should not be the job of screeners to speed up the pace. They’re focus, he said, should be on security, the Associated Press reports. 

TSA officials, not screeners, should worry about the length of the lines, he said.

“I want front-line screeners doing what they’re supposed to do, which is screening and making sure that things that shouldn’t get past the checkpoint don’t get past,” he said. “I let leaders and managers worry about things like queuing and line speed.”

TSA Screener Accused of Sexually Assaulting Passenger After Flight

tsa_logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA screen is accused of imprisoning and sexually abusing a college student in a bathroom following a flight to LaGuardia Airport in New York, CNN reports. 

The screener, Maxi Oquendo is accused of illegally imprisoning and screening the 21-year-old woman in an area where passengers aren’t supposed to be screened, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“Hey, ma’am, I need to scan your body and your luggage,” the screener allegedly told the passenger, according to the statement.

The TSA employee is then accused of forcing the woman into a bathroom before he allegedly “had her lift up her shirt and unzip her pants and touched her breasts and other areas of her body over and under her clothing.”

Other Stories of Interest

TSA Screeners Aren’t Charged on Allegations of Groping ‘Attractive’ Male Passengers

tsaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Denver airport security screeners who were fired after being accused of fondling attractive male passengers will not be charged, NBC News reports. 

The TSA screeners, a man and a woman, were fired in April following a six-month investigation by the TSA, which alerted Denver police to the allegations in March.

But Monday, the Denver district attorney’s office said investigators were unable to prove that one of the screeners was working at the time of the alleged incidents.

The male screener was accused of signaling to the female screener when an attractive man was approaching. The female passenger was then accused of patting down the passenger’s groin by signaling to the machine that the passenger was a woman.

“These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable,” the TSA said in a statement in April. “TSA has removed two officers from the agency.”

Other Stories of Interest

Looking Ahead for TSA After Study Found Serious Surveillance Issues

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Now that many see the TSA as a failure,  what’s next next for the beleaguered agency?

Give the task back to the airlines?

The Hill offers insight, saying private competition may drive down prices but you get what you pay for.

More than 13 years after 9/11, we are still struggling to ensure the continued security of America’s airliners, which suggests that this is not an easy task. Most of the problems seem to be in human performance. This is not because TSA agents are not up to the task. Screeners work hard to do their best, and they regularly uncover guns and other weapons that passengers attempt to conceal. Their failure is not owed to the fact that passengers have observed them taking breaks or occasionally joking with one another. The checkpoint is their workspace. Effective security does not require visible hardship or a scowling demeanor.

Screeners have a difficult task to perform under often terrible conditions. They have to deal with crowds of soon-to-be passengers, who are often apprehensive about flying or missing flights or complain about being told by some stranger to take off their shoes or their belts or empty their pockets. Every move the screeners make is watched by hundreds of people who view the screeners as adversaries.

Column by Janet Napolitano: New Airport Screening Devices “Safe, Efficient and Protect Passenger Privacy”

Janet Napolitano

By Janet Napolitano
USA Today

WASHINGTON — Nearly a year after a thwarted terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas Day, the recent attempt by terrorists to conceal and ship explosive devices aboard aircraft bound for the United States reminds us that al-Qaeda and those inspired by its ideology are determined to strike our global aviation system and are constantly adapting their tactics for doing so.

Our best defense against such threats remains a risk-based, layered security approach that utilizes a range of measures, both seen and unseen, including law enforcement, advanced technology, intelligence, watch-list checks and international collaboration.

This layered approach to aviation security is only as strong as the partnerships upon which it is built.

In addition to the more than 50,000 trained transportation security officers, transportation security inspectors, behavior detection officers and canine teams who are on the front lines guarding against threats to the system, we rely on law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the federal government.

We require airlines and cargo carriers to carry out specific tasks such as the screening of cargo and passengers overseas. We work closely with local law enforcement officers in airports throughout the country.

And we ask the American people to play an important part of our layered defense. We ask for cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance in the face of a determined enemy.

As part of our layered approach, we have expedited the deployment of new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units to help detect concealed metallic and non-metallic threats on passengers. These machines are now in use at airports nationwide, and the vast majority of travelers say they prefer this technology to alternative screening measures.

AIT machines are safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy.

To read more click here.