TSA to open PreCheck to all for a fee

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by jackonferry, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Current procedure is to conduct a pat down if they alarm the WTMD, if you move to the HHMD, it would (based on previous policy) be a more targeted patdown - essentially wherever the HHMD alarms.

    Most of the time I lump regulations and policy under one heading, while there is a technical difference between the two, they are both a part of the rules that make up the process. I will try and be more specific in the future.

    I still just don't get why photography is such a problem - the rules/regulations/SOP are all stating the same thing, and it is readily available through the internet at any time, and in hardcopy at each airport. The only thing I can come up with at this point is failure to comply - which should be dealt with immediately.
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Have HHMD's been returned to the checkpoints?

    I think the training issue is proven fact. TSA can neither train its employees properly nor enforce its policies within the workforce.
  3. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    HHMDs were removed from the screening process, but I believe (don't wuote me, I can only speak for our airport), they are still around. Not used, but still here in case something were to happen (emergency style) they would be able to be deployed if needed - that is not a quote from the SOP or regs or policies, simply what I thin is the case.

    I have been lucky, all of the training I have recieved since joining TSA has been fairly easy to follow. I think one of the problems is not necessarily training per se, but the interpretations of the SOP applied by different people. I have read stories on here about people having different experiences at the same checkpoint 15 minutes apart, one takes the item, one doesn't, one pats down this area, one pats down that area - I think that can be boiled down to how we read and comprehend things differently. You and I can read the exact same article and come away with 2 distinctly different takes on what is actually being said, add in the intentional inconsistencies inherent in the system TSA is using, and it becomes a jumble after a while. Some of what you comment on I can make no explanation of (rules on photography, inconsistent application of the rules that are supposed to be hard and fast, wild variances from the SOP), but some of it can be chalked up to the inconsistencies incorporated into the system.
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    If the end result of training people leads to different outcomes then either the training method is ineffective, the trainers are ineffective, or the trainee doesn't understand and cannot demonstrate goal accomplishments at the end of the training cycle. The only other issue would be management oversight or lack there of.

    There is no question that competence of TSA employees is a demonstrated fault with no visable action being taken to correct the problem.

    Making excuses for poor TSA employee performance only enables continued poor performance.

    Personally I think the problem points to one person in TSA for doing nothing but making excuses for TSA.
  5. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    TSA serves no useful purpose, full stop. They don't need to be replaced by anything but salted earth.
  6. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    These are the same geniuses who think a student with Arabic-English flash cards is a terrorist.

    Seriously, Rugape, you need to find another job. You are too smart to work for these idiots. And when it finally comes crashing down I really don't want to see you in the flotsam.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Have to disagree, TSA provides the countries perverts a place to assualt people legally.
    nachtnebel likes this.
  8. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    Too bad they cant be taught a proper southern lesson in manner ... IE an (expletive deleted) Whoopin.
  9. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    That was a fairly stupid situation as well, similar to someone being harassed for wearing a shirt with arabic script on the front (that was a police officer near Charlotte - the best thing about it was, the shirt read "Infidel"). Both are an exercise in not using your most important tool (ones mind) and over-reacting. 95% of the challenges that arise in my line of work can be solved by listening, thinking, talking, mitigating any threat (if there is one) and always using common sense - even within the confines of the SOP (which gets a lot of blame it does not deserve, when the blame should be placed on the person not solving the challenge).

    I appreciate what you are saying Frank, and I am always looking to better myself. It does not appear that advancing or moving to a job where I can do some serious positive change is in the cards at this point. So, I work as hard as I can to make some positive difference where I am, and through working at places like this (I know we disagree on many things, but hearing dissenting opinions is the best way to learn new information and better understand other positions) and the TSA Blog. Hopefully TSA will make more changes to process and policy and come more in line with what is considered socially acceptable, while maintaining a security based position. We are not cops, we are not intelligence gurus, we are folks that perform a security oriented job, designed to prevent bad items from getting on planes (and other forms of transit based on the ATSA). We would do well to focus on the primary objectives, work well with the public to resolve challenges, and help the folks that need it (because most million milers don't really need to have us review everything with them - seriously, we wind up giving the same spiel to the same 12 frequent fliers 250 times a year in some cases). I understand taking the job seriously, I understand the counter-terrorism aspect of what we do (which is circumspect in approach), I understand that we have to have rules, regulations and ways to respond to situations - but power tripping, being rude and unprofessional and bullying is simply not acceptable.
  10. RB

    RB Founding Member

    If TSA would stick to finding WEI I think things would be smoother. Having an ETD machines that didn't alarm on almost anything would be helpful. Using Strip Search Machines as secondary would help. Ending the Sexual Assualt Pat Downs really be a step forward.

    TSA employees need fixing too, the biggest TSA job out there.
  11. Doober

    Doober Original Member


    "mitigating any threat"

    Have you ever come across any threat to a flight? Your colleague at the other place, eyecue, insisted that the TSA had found an IED, but then when challenged and pushed for details, ran for cover.
  12. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Personally the only "possible" threats I have encountered were firearms (oh, and the old timey detonator box, you remember the ones with the big handle on top used to detonate dynamite in the old movies?). Those cases aside, I have never encountered anyone with what I perceived to be intent to destroy an airplane or hurt anyone on it.

    There are cases of explosives charges like this one (it was charged as having the components to make an IED originally - I have not kept up with the result of this one) - http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8600025 but that can be tied to a professional interest, and could be debated for years with regard to intent (for the record, I am not convinced this guy had ill intent, just bad judgement).

    The soldier with the C-4 - http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...und-explosives-luggage-feds-article-1.1000682 again a matter of intent can be debated ad nauseum and it can be tied to a professional interest (I am also convinced this guy simply exhibited bad judgement at the worst).

    I almost always (or at least I try to always) indicate it as any possible threat, because the vast majority of people coming through the checkpoints are simply going to be people that have forgotten something or are showing poor judgement/lack of knowledge - not someone with the intent to take over a plane or do damage to the plane or anyone on it. There seems to be something I recall about a flight from Florida to the island areas (or vice versa maybe), maybe Puerto Rico? Where the individual was charged with having the components to an IED, but I will not quote it, because I am unable to find the actual story at this time.
  13. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Curious about TSO training since that always seems to be a topic about things not being done correctly.

    How much instructor based training do TSO's receive compared to other types of training such as self paced, computer assisted, and other forms of training where there is no instructor interaction? How are instructors in TSA trained?
  14. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    It is a mix of various forms as you indicated above, as for the percentages, I am uncertain. I am also uncertain how much I can disclose on what types of training we do with regards to the make up, percentages and names. I will say that I have had more instructor led training at TSA than any other job I have held since the Army, and after being a Silversmith Apprentice, I never thought I would be able to say that.

    As for how the instrucotrs are trained, I know there are some "train the trainer" types of classes, and some instructor certification programs, but I am not well steeped in how many or where or who actually gets that training.

    I find that in most cases, I get a good grasp on whatever we are training on from the instructor led classes and other forms of training. I also find that consistent reading, reinforcement, discussion and research are what makes me well versed in the SOP and MDs and regs. Relying on the basics in many cases will provide you enough to do the basics, but if you really want to excel at the job, you have to consistently keep up with and reinforce the training.
  15. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Ok, I didn't ask anything about what you are being trained on nor did I ask how you personally feel about the training.

    I'm trying to understand if the typical training a screener gets is sitting in front of a computer for a canned presentation and doing a short test at the end or if TSA has more formal training in place.

    In my opinion self paced and computer based training is the least effective means of training a workforce that is available.

    Formal classroom training with well qualified instructors who can gauge the students progress, take questions, repeat difficult concepts, and vary the time spent on various areas will always give a better result than other means.

    Just my opinion but I do believe something is seriously wrong with TSA and evidence suggests that training is one of the core problem issues. There are other issues that need to be addressed but that is going to take time.
  16. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Like getting employees who're actually trainable, for one.
  17. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    There is a pretty good mix of training methods used for "maintenance" training, but almost every single bit of my job was taught to me in a classroom type of setting. Training may be a challenge for TSA, but I have been pretty satisfied with the ratio of classroom, OJT and other formats of training. I have been given the tools I need to do the job, and the tools I need to keep sharp on the job. I think that we also have employees that do not take full advantage of all the tools offered to them, but I also think they are in a severe minority. As for training sitting in front of a computer, self paced, we do have some of that, but it does not encompass all of the training we get. Some of the stuff we train on is (by definition) repetitive in nature, and the only way to get better at it is to do it over and over again - such as the xray. That can be addressed with online work as well as the actual experience of working on the checkpoint and in baggage with them. Other training, such as interpersonal classes are conducted in a classroom environ because it translates better and offers better interactions and learning opportunities. I found a post at TSA.gov that has some of the training stuff outlined, maybe that can give you at least some idea of the training programs and styles.

  18. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Could you provide a link to a website that has anything resembling credibility?
  19. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    First guy had 2 M-80s and some flash powder in his bag, apparently a fireworks enthusiast, and he contends he forgot they were there. He's been indicted on charges of possession of explosives and carrying explosives on an airplane (but he never got on the plane). Can't find anything more since then.

    The C4 the second guy was carrying, as you well know, was missed by screeners on his outbound flight and only found when he was returning home. This was another matter of oversight.

    Eyecue on IEDs found by TSA:



    After several days of quiet, he cut out:

  20. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    Just saw a guy get turned away from the PreCheck line, and boy was he PO'd. Quite the microexpression on his face! :eek::p

    This prompted a conversation with the couple behind me. I explained to them how there was no guarantee even after shelling out money, being subjected to government questioning, and fingerprinted. So make that two more people that aren't going to bother with PreCheck. ^

    Oh, and I made sure the Trained Document Checker overheard what I was saying. :D
    Sunny Goth likes this.
Tags: tsa, pre-check

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