Arrested TSA Employee Former lead TSA screener at Kona Airport to serve 2 months in jail for stealing money

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Daily Reporter: Former lead TSA screener at Kona Airport to serve 2 months in jail for stealing money

     
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  2. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Liked your comment!
     
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  3. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    While I dislike the fact that the person used her position to steal, I am a wholehearted supporter of prosecuting them. Nice to see someone that did this get some punishment.
     
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I would like to know how many actual days they really served. I doubt more than a week or so. TSA employees suspected of crimes while doing TSA duties should be charged, tried, and sentenced under federal guidelines.
     
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  5. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    The score so far:
    * Thieving TSOs apprehended: 1
    * Terrorists collared: 0
    * Snowglobes confiscated: If I tell you, I'd have to kill you.
     
  6. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    do they have Hawai'ian snow globes?
     
  7. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Sure, they have the palm trees and it looks a bit more like ash than snow, but they have them!
     
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    You do know that it snows in Hawaii don't you?
     
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  9. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I do, but mostly in the upper reaches. They didn't get as much last year as we did here in NC. Mostly it falls on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Most Hawaiians have not had to shovel their driveways or sidewalks of snow, but many have had to shovel ash out before.
     
  10. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Many people are surprised to find out that it does snow in Hawaii so I was just wondering.

    I have traveled from well north of the artic circle to the southern reaches of Argentina. Freezing in the far north to baking in a Mediterranean sirocco. At times I have cursed snow (especially after shoveling for a couple of hours only to have the snowplow come by and block the dooryard) and later to have wishes for the coolness that comes with snow.
     
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  11. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Yeah, I was lucky, in 8 years in the Army, I saw 27 countries. I love snow, even though I grew up in NC and didn't see much of it. In Germany, when it snowed, it bloody well snowed. In Panama it rained every day at 3pm give or take a minute, and about half the time, there were no clouds! I am glad to hear that you had a chance to travel quite a bit as well. It helps to give perspective on things that many Americans will never understand. I was lucky and only had to scrap for food and water a few times, and most nights I had a relatively safe place to lay my head for a couple of hours and I got to see tons of things my family and friends will never see or understand why it was so cool to do so.
     
  12. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Dictatorial middle managers gone wild!
    http://www.kitv.com/r/28853818/detail.html
    In the aftermath of the luggage scandal, a chaotic working environment of ad hoc operating rules, leads to a number of manager dismissals. Employees are promised a new working environment:
    Instilling fear of speaking publicly. Never a good sign. Management abuse of employees will manifest itself in other ways, most readily in abuse of travellers under their control.
     
  13. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    One problem with these types of situations (illegal orders and SOP violations aside) is that some workers do not wish to be told what to do. TSMs can use tact and ask the employees to do things, but essentially the claims are right in most work situations - it is a dictatorship. The FSD puts out what needs to be done, the AFSDs give those orders down and make sure of compliance, the TSMs give further instruction on down, then the STSO, LTSO... All of these folks give orders down the chain, and expect those orders to be accomplished the correct way. Effective leadership will solicit input from all levels of the organization to help improve efficiency and find better ways of doing things, but if I am the TSM and have been tasked with doing something (again - illegal orders and SOP violations aside) I expect it to be accomplished. If you have a probelm with doing what I have assigned you, I can make time to listen to why you have a problem with it - perhaps even learn something about one of my employees that can help in future endeavors - but it still needs to be done. I see many of the folks in the workforce (in general, not just TSA) that bristle when they are assigned to do something, because they just don't want to do it. In those cases I say tough tookus, if you don't like it, go find another job.

    This is a bit different case, I clearly understand that, but it rubs me the wrong way when I hear folks say that things are run like a dictatorship in a security environment like this... Duh, it IS a dictatorship with lots of delegation.

    Another point, speaking to the press as a front end TSO is not something I am a big fan of either, and I will tell you why - Most of the TSOs come to work, do what they are supposed to and go home, they have never really done much in the public spotlight, and they have the SOP classed as SSI. Without training, practice and such, most TSOs may make a little slip and disclose something that can get them fired. I don't view the no talk policy as curbing things nearly as much sa I view it as protecting TSOs from inadvertant disclosure. If you worked for a company, would you want Fred that works the third spindle to your left to go to the press/speak publicly about how they hate the shift manager and how everyone else on the shift hates the manager and then see it on youtube or CNN, where he names out all of you guys that work with him? What if he lets slip the secret mixture that gives your thread its glimmer as an oops during the conversation? What if he lets slip how much you pay for a bundle of base thread, the group that sells it to you has been giving you a special rate because you do more business, but now that it is out there for all to see, everyone wants the same rate. I think frontline TSOs should do their jobs, follow the SOP, be professional - and when violations of SOP occur, file the complaints through the proper channels.
     
  14. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Well, Rugape, I guess we all relate stories to our own work experiences. Military, government, and private sector employment are all different though. As I read the story, I was interested to learn that the chaos that passengers find objectionable is a problem for front line TSOs as well. Indeed I have been in an analagous situation myself. But when I get to the comment:
    I have to LOL. Who do you complain to? The manager who hasn't taken responsibility for the chaos? Or the one who wants you to take the blame for their mismanagement? Or the one who will write you up so they can get bonus points. I could go on, but I think it comes down to accountability. And it is a sign of BAD MANAGEMENT, always, to have operational chaos and no outlets for expression of legitimate staff concern without retaliation.
     
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  15. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I can understand that point of view, in many situations it is correct. If you make a good faith effort to forward your complaints and the organization fails to hold those responsible accountable (and we have all been in that situation sometimes, maybe not in a business setting, but a similar situation), then the best you can do is continue on following the SOP, and filing complaints when applicable. At some point, someone is going to take notice (admittedly, it may be too late for the person filing the complaints). I have been preaching to everyone that will listen that we need to establish and continue to work on accountability, from the top down. I have even mentioned to a colleague at HQ that we need to establish a "culture of accountability", where it starts with people not being afraid to admit that something is wrong, or that they have made a mistake - we all make mistakes, to fail to acknowledge them is allowing the same mistake to be made continuously and by other employees as well. The checkpoint (all policy disagreements aside) is a step by step animal - help the folks get from step a-z as efficiently as possible, if there is a hitch, focus some resources on fixing the hitch, all the while moving other people through. That is basic business, it works at McDonalds, Target, Walmart, and it really works at big business locations. Chaos at a checkpoint is a pretty good indicator that the folks in charge are either not paying attention or not reacting properly to the situation. DISCLAIMER - that is easy for me to say because I work at a smaller airport, where 300+ people through our checkpoint in an hour is considered a gigantor rush. Several folks in the blogosphere have asked why I am still with TSA, can't you see the bad things, short answer - yes. I see many of the things that folks out here are saying (luckily not at my airport for the most part), I see the stream of negative publicity. I keep pushing the agenda of accountability and doing what we are supposed to do in my sphere of influence. I can't re-write the policies, I can't make someone in DCA do what I would like to see done (ditto for any other airport that I do not work at), but I can try my best to have some form of positive impact on my workforce, and hope to see some transference to other places.
     
  16. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Personally, if I were a terrorist, I would welcome all the chaos, noise and confusion that come from the lack of disclosure of rules, as well as the enforcement of silly things like confiscation of snow globes, etc.
     
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  17. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    That is the prevailing attitude (I would certainly think it would be anyway), as the more chaos and confusion going on, the better chance for someone to get something through. I disagree with some of our rules and the way we apply them, but I also understand the reasoning given for them by HQ. HQ is always going to be in a no-win situation on policy, they can't make everyone happy, and it is pretty bloody hard to make the majority happy and actually address threat matrices - so many times the resulting policy makes no one happy (to include the TSOs). HQ is also in a position where if they increase security or put in place a new policy, a large number of folks complain about it - on the other hand, if they remove a policy and an attack comes from that threat matrix, they get the blame. It is a pretty tough situation, and while we could probably improve the way we address things, and we could do a better job of communication, we will always be in a no-win situation.
     
  18. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Agreed. Much of this depends on how one views the possible threat. Certainly there is always the possibility of the lone nutter, this is unfortunately too common in our society. TSA can stop this type of person from getting on a aircraft, or perhaps more accurately, stop this type of person from getting on with any arms.

    However, the much more rare circumstances of a widespread or clever conspiracy, along the lines of 9/11, is correspondingly much more likely able to penetrate TSA, and I think one could imagine a variety of ways this could be done. Subversion of airport personnel, including employees of the TSA, would certainly be a possible threat vector, and of course there are many others.

    In this respect, it has often been observed, and I think accurately, that once such a conspiracy has entered an airport, there really is no stopping it. Hence, other mechanisms, such as law enforcement investigations, must be relied upon to counter this type of threat.

    Ultimately, it is a judgment call about how much TSA should do at the checkpoint to attempt to counter the very rare but potentially highly damaging threat of a long established conspiracy. At some point, security measures may become counterproductive, in that the airport and checkpoints themselves become terrorist targets.
     
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  19. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    We do have quite a large allotment of loonies in modern society. The threats of internal actions will always be possible, we could all be making $100k a year and some folks would still be susceptible to bribery or the exertion of external pressures, everyone has a price, whether it be family, friends, objects or money.

    Agreed on the judgement call, I am lucky enough to not have to make those calls (of course, my wallet suffers for it), and I think that there are changes coming down the pipe over the next couple of years that will be positive for all involved. the problem is getting those changes rolling, getting buy in from the workforce, and using accountability to remove the bad apples. It is a fairly simple thought process, but the application is a mother.
     
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