First, I greatly appreciate your willingness to come here, share your opinions and participate in the discussion. For this alone you should be commended.
However you have said a number of things which I feel compelled to comment on. TSA may be a relatively new agency, but you are late arrivals in an arms race that has been going on since commercial aviation was born.
>> Comparing those who thank me for my job to those who help strip freedoms from others is a bit odd. I do not strip freedoms from others.
Yes, Jeremy, you do. A TSA security checkpoint is a place where the 1st Amendment and 4th Amendment protections do not apply to me. I am not free to tell a TSA security supervisor that he is being an idiot, even when he is. I am not secure in my person or effects. My choices are either to give up my Constitutional rights, or not to fly. When I choose to fly, I resent the fact that my rights have been suspended by what amounts to executive fiat.
>> I perform security. I am a Behavior Detection Officer. I have never caught a terrorist.
As a security specialist, I must respectfully differ. A security professional (guard, officer, BDO, etc) protects persons, property, information and reputation. In your role at TSA, it is hotly debatable whether or not you protect persons. You certainly do not protect property or information (in fact, TSA operations facilitate theft of laptops), and the way in which TSA chooses to conduct its operations has earned considerable public disdain and disrespect.
If you want TSA to engender respect, you must prove -- not assert, not argue, not claim -- but prove that TSA is in the business of protecting people's lives. So far, I haven't seen TSA do anything that an armored cockpit door couldn't do cheaper, more safely, and with less violation of our rights.
>> Security layering is nothing new when it comes to the military, it is relatively new for private security.
Baloney. A leading acronymic computer company has been doing defense in depth since before World War II. There is a back-and-forth relationship between military and commercial security, certainly, but it's not a one way process.
>> In addition to that, proactive approach is also new to airport security.
Someone might want to tell the FAA that. Then duck. You talk as if there had never been hijackings prior to 9/11. Did you know that many pilots prior to World War II were _required_ to carry firearms? There is a lot of history here that you simply were never taught.
>> Someone said further up the page that we should be screening for terrorists before they get to the airport.
If we're not, I am offended as a taxpayer that my money is not being properly spent. No fly lists have their own problems, especially in terms of accountability, but layered security demands that a stab be made at each level of the problem. For that reason only, I accept that checkpoints are a reasonable safeguard. However the amount of time and money we waste on this one, comparatively porous element is ridiculous.
>> I suppose that if we move that fight to the areas before the airport, then airports will be safe but then society will be upset about the means we use to screen for threats before the airport.
Never mind the threats at the airport, I see.
>> So we will never be effective at pleasing those caught in the means, but we may be effective at reducing the threat.
If there is no threat, zero equals zero.
>> I beleive in my job and know the mission. The training I have recieived is good, and applies directly to my job.
Respectfully, how would you know if your training is any good?
Plenty of people were taught (for example) that elevation can help control severe bleeding. After clinical studies it was determined not only that elevation is not effective, but that it distracts from direct pressure which IS effective.
Many people are trained (police, CCW, etc) to survive gunfights. They must take it on faith that the techniques they are taught actually work.
You've never caught a terrorist. I hope you've caught testing personnel. However, they are only as good as their information . . . a red team member pretending to be a terrorist is better than nothing, but isn't a real terrorist either.
>> I am a good employee and do a great job. I always get good reviews and raises for my performance.
That merely means you do your job the TSA way. What many of us assert is that the TSA way is wrong.
>> With that, all of you complaining about TSA only talk of the bad experiences.
I don't like having my Constitutional rights violated. I'm not alone in this.
>> But due to our dramatics-filled society and the fact that you all want something to complain about only stokes your fire for war stories.
Don't patronize us. I am willing to go through a security checkpoint stark naked and be poked and prodded by rude strangers, if you can prove to me that it will stop a 9/11 style terrorist attack. I'd even take a face full of pepper spray and a couple of Tasings. You can't. Thus the objection.
>> Come to my airport, you may never forget us. We screen 2 million passengers a day. We cannot afford to be wrong one time.
Do you really think your error rate is that low? I seriously doubt it.
The problem with low probability events is proving that you stopped even one.
>> Go ahead and complain, beacause your tax dollars gave me my last raise, my last bonus, and encourages me to strive to do the best that I can do.
This kind of entitlement thinking on the part of government officials drives a wedge between the government and the public. Every time someone is rude to you because of the TSA insignia you wear, realize that it's because of that feeling of entitlement to our hard-earned money.
>> If half of you had the mettle, the loyalty to country, and the mindset to be the best, then you would stand out in your jobs too.
I don't feel the need to justify myself to you in this way. My "I-love-me" wall is already full.
>> With the understanding of TSA but the disagreement, it goes from expressing your opinion in a respectful manner to full-on disgracing those you see operating with the TSA uniform on.
I've tried polite conversation with TSA representatives. Without fail, I see the TSA personnel engaging in verbal escalation, cornering and what I like to call "verbal karate." You feel you have the hole card -- the right to exclude someone from the terminal, without judicial review or citizen oversight -- and many of you throw your weight around accordingly.
>> This is what me and more TSA employees contend with, and it is very upsetting once you have dealt with it for such a long time.
It's the job. If you want to be treated with respect, be a hooker. If you want to be treated with contempt and derision, work security. If you can't hack it, look for another line of work.
>> So I am thinking that the big problem as most see it, is a spending of fundds without a full understanding of what they are going for.
That is exactly where TSA needs to engage in an effective, comprehensive public education campaign. You can't order us what to think. You need to share with us the facts that you can, and show why it makes sense to do what you do.
>> Also, not being told why you must go through certin aspects of security in a specific manner. Because of this, it is a frustrating. We are an information people and society and are curious.
1st Amendment. Freedom of Information Act. Our society is one where no man is bigger than the law. Yet you work for an agency with secret regulations backed by murky laws.
>> When we are told "You cannot be told why" then it is often taken as personal. This in turn evokes a disrespectful tone and response.
I have to question whether or not you've had any human relations training after a comment like this.
It is basic Verbal Judo never to use the phrasing "You" or the "you" imperative. The second person is disrespectful and unnecessary commands corrode authority. A better way to say it would be, "I regret that for security reasons that I am not allowed to disclose this information to anyone. My supervisor's name is So-and-So and he can be reached by (method). He can help you more with this."
>> Maybe you like TSA, but you disagree with methods and money TSA uses.
The money is a small thing in the grand scheme. The erosion of our rights is a far larger issue.
>> We are unable to disclose why certain methods are in place, and due to this, a lot of people are upset. Just because you may not understand it doesn't mean there is a not purpose behind it.
>> It has to do with your security and safety.
>> How many Americans think of the events from 9/11 on a daily basis?
Every time I teach that twenty security officers lost their lives on September 11th. Nineteen of them were heroes. One of them was a fool.
>> It is very difficult to try to get my point across when you know nothing about what TSA does.
Don't underestimate us. One of my coworkers was an airport security checkpoint manager for several years. This coworker screened tens of thousands of passengers with a handful of minimum wage personnel. We know your problems in some ways better than you do.
>> I beleive personal interpretation is of great importance when it comes to TSA and the 'hassling' moves we make.
I understand that part of the reason you hassle people is to test for suicidal people. It's not that much of a secret.
>> In addition, TSA's young age has plenty to do with the problems as well.
Inability and unwillingness to learn from mistakes and to accept public criticisms as valid does not help either.
>> Do you think the FBI . . .
A lot of PR went into building the FBI's image. They're not all that, even now.
>> Everyone hates the new kid on the block, until they can concrete their position and solidify thier mission with hard-core proof.
This applies between and among agencies. Public trust is a different can of worms entirely.
>> Maybe all those who lambaste the TSA could back off a bit and wait for result.
We can't wait for the next 9/11 to tell TSA that they're guarding against the wrong threats.
>> Terrorist are more patient than we (Americans) will ever be. So when we begin to display blatant complacency again, they will have reached thier niche in the timeline.
Not so much. As I've commented previously, tangos need not go through several chains of approval. They research, they surveill, they act. Terrorist organizations need to be kept off balance through the constant threat of discovery and annihilation. Allowing them to wait unmolested is nurturing a viper to one's bosom.
I have a lot of respect for the defensive game. However, TSA is only focusing on one small part of the much larger problem. Unless TSA can win not merely the public's trust, but the public's affection, the agency will fail in its stated goal to protect the American people.