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Vigilance Leads to Discovery of Hidden Weapon

Friday, October 3, 2008

With millions of passengers passing through the checkpoints every year, the job of a TSA officer requires constant vigilance. Every passenger, along with any carry-on bag and luggage, is screened thoroughly. In an incident at Florida’s Palm Beach International, an officer recently discovered a 3.5 inch knife artfully concealed inside a 9-inch metal kubotan in a passenger’s carry-on bag.

Photo of the eight inch knife that was hidden

As X-ray operator TSO Joanne Wagner screened a passenger’s carry-on bag, she noticed a long opaque item. TSO Jessica Toth responded to the bag check and located the kubotan, which is primarily used for self defense. Shortly afterwards, Palm Beach County sheriff deputies arrived and confiscated the weapon.

The passenger said that she was unaware the item was in her bag. She was cited on a state charge of unlawful possession of a weapon and allowed to board the flight.

"This is an excellent example of the training our officers are provided and the hands-on experience gained working across airport operations, while providing the best security for the flying public," said FSD Pete Garcia.