Carry-on bag X-ray classifies liquids

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by KrazyKat, May 24, 2013.

  1. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I am uncertain as to what you are indicating here. When did testing for explosives become "chasing after things that are not a threat to commercial aviation"?
     
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    The testers that TSA has all seem to have a capability built in to test for drugs. That is what is being suggested.
     
  3. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Almost every format used to test for explosives has the capability to test for drugs... or paint contents... or elements of fabric softeners... or any other myriad substances. All of these machines have a broad spectrum of elements that can be detected, it is what elements the machine is programmed to detect and alarm on that determines its use. I have never seen any machine used by TSA that has been programmed to detect drugs - they have all been programmed to detect explosive components. If the machines in the checkpoints *were* programmed to detect drugs, the number of arrests due to referral to LEOs would skyrocket. Tons of people use drugs for medical reasons, tons use them for recreational uses, *if* the machines were set to detect drugs, a majority of those people would be caught (maybe not a majority, but a much larger percentage than the people caught as an ancillary concern that you see now). Airports like LAX and ATL would almost come to a standstill at times due to the sheer number of alarms and the resultant searches. The much larger reason for the machines not being programmed for drug detection (at least in my eyes), is the fact that we are not actively looking for drugs, it is not our mandate, it is not in the SOP, it is not what (in my experience at least) have been taught to search for. We simply notify the LEOs if drugs are found while trying to clear a possible threat item. Think about it from a logical point of view: roughly a couple of million people fly daily, millions of people use drugs everyday, if even a small percentage of the machines were programmed to detect drugs, the numbers of alarms and searches for drugs, added to the already large number of searches for possible threat items, would be gigantic and unsustainable with the current numbers of employees. The percentage of arrests/interactions with local LEOs for simple possession (in most cases I would venture), would also be unsustainable, because most APD members have other duties they attend to, and it would require so much more of their time that those departments would be in an unsustainable rate as well. Without the numbers to back up some of the suppositions (or inferences) that the machines test for drugs and we are actively dragnetting for drugs, I will never be able to seriously consider that the machines are testing for drugs at TSA checkpoints or in baggage areas.

    Some of the blame for any resulting confusion can be placed on the way journalists write these articles - the headline that generated these comments is true in essence, but wrongful in spirit because we don't use them for drugs - it is simply something that this model can test for *if* it is programmed to do so. By leading with the drug testing capability, it implies that TSA is actively searching for drugs as well as explosives, and I simply do not have data that backs that up. A more truthful version of the headline would indicate it is used to search for explosives, and other groups (such as maybe CBP or LEO organizations) can also use ones programmed for drugs. I am not saying that the newsies have an agenda, how things are written in current trends certainly seems to be dumbing down (at best) or pushing a specific agenda (which is intellectually dishonest). I disagree with much of what comes out of our governmental structure (statements, talking points, etc) because they are not designed to give the truth of the matter, they are designed to obfuscate or steer, and this comes from every spectrum of the political body (and the resulting posts by all of the governmental institutions will reflect that). The newsies are pretty much the same way, they tend to fashion their headlines to fit what they percieve as the important element in the discussion, and hide or downplay any other element. This may be something that has been going on my entire life, but I seem to recall that the news tended to be more direct and fact oriented (and due to that, a bit dry in presentation), with some commentary sprinkled in from time to time. Nowadays it is primarily commentary with a polished delivery to give the veneer of fact, while actual facts are a tiny bit of the overall presentation...

    Sorry, will step down off my box now.:(
     
  4. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member


    If the TSA isn't actively looking for drugs, why are TSA employees carrying around fake drugs used in "contraband detection" training?

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/dncrime/Documents_TSA_worker_pulled_drug_joke_more_than_once.html

    Why would creatine be used for "data collection" when it doesn't have a signature remotely close to any explosive or incendiary compound other than containing nitrogen?

    Why is does the TSA claim a "good find" whenever they do find something resembling drugs?

    Maybe it's because TSA employees see an opportunity for profit in those cases where they can take a bribe to let the drugs pass...

    http://news.yahoo.com/feds-crooked-...ng-scheme-194312884--abc-news-topstories.html

    You've repeatedly claimed that the TSA isn't looking for drugs. The headlines pushed by TSA spokesholes say otherwise. The actions of your fellow (expletive deleted) say otherwise. The purchase orders for devices that have "drug detection" listed prominently among their capabilities say otherwise.

    I can't tell if you're deliberately lying, or just being obtuse. You don't seem to be that stupid.
     
  5. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Rugapee, if a TSA employee finds illegal drugs during a screening is there a path to some type of monetary reward or bonus?
     
  6. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I have heard of that happening (it was quite some time ago though, like 6 years or so, where I can not remember), I can not confirm it, but I have read some stories of it . I have not personally seen an award for discovery of drugs, not here, nor at the other locations I have worked, nor have I seen anything that indicates it is a normal process (either in SOP/Regs or local or national updates).
     
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Is there a reward system built in to TSA polices for such occurences. Not asking if you have benefited but if TSA policy allows for such awards.
     
  8. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Given Rugape's track record on "not being able to confirm things," this statement is as good as a "Yes."
     
  9. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I have not seen a reward system that specifically indicates you are to get an award for finding drugs, so no. There is (or was before sequestration) an "on the spot" award system that was used to reward TSOs for going above and beyond the norm, I have seen them awarded for performing CPR in an emergency situation, assisting a special needs passenger (sight challenged) in from the parking lot and making certain she got to the counter and to the gate after a taxi driver dumped her with no assistance (that was someone that was walking during their lunch), for designing a new computer system for inventory accountability (pretty much off duty and not their job description), things of that nature.
     
  10. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Translation: "There are ways TSA employees are rewarded for finding drugs, but we're able to conceal them by not having a reward system solely for that purpose.

    Otherwise, you would have just said, "No, TSA employees are not rewarded for finding drugs or other 'contraband' that does not present a danger to the flight - like cash."
     
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