The actions of TSA's behavior detection officers (BDOs) on Aug. 4 led to four arrests and one detention in 24 hours.
At Oakland (Calif.) International Airport, a passenger's suspicious behavior caught the attention of a BDO who referred the passenger for secondary screening. There, transportation security officers found what was later confirmed to be heroin. The passenger was arrested for possession by local law enforcement.
In Atlantic City, N.J., a passenger's suspicious behavior again led to additional security. This time, the passenger's passport lacked proper documentation. With the help of TSA and Customs and Border Protection, local law enforcement determined that the passenger was a fugitive and in the country illegally. The passenger was detained pending federal charges.
Meanwhile, at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport, a BDO referred a passenger to secondary screening. In this case, the passenger was trying to travel through the airport with someone else's driver's license, credit card and insurance card. He was arrested by local police for possession of stolen property.
Back on the East Coast, BDOs at a Washington Dulles International Airport checkpoint ordered more screening for a suspicious passenger. His possession of three Social Security cards, someone else's California driver's license and two employee authorization cards led to his arrest on a state charge of fraudulent documents.
And at Albuquerque (N.M.) International Airport, a BDO stopped a passenger who was carrying two driver's licenses from New Mexico and one from Arizona. Law enforcement confirmed all three were fraudulent, for which she was arrested.
The BDOs' quick action and collaboration with local law enforcement brought several layers of security to bear on individuals trying to circumvent security. While easy to navigate for the common passenger, this layered approach is difficult for criminals and potential terrorists to defeat.