Alert Florida TSA officer stops imposter at checkpoint entrance

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport TSA Officer Kacian Jackson (Photo courtesy of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center)

Working at the travel document checking podium, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) TSA Officer Kacian Jackson examined a traveler’s driver’s license and boarding pass. The documents checked out, but a red flag went up in Jackson’s mind as she observed the passenger.

She looked again. The same name appeared on the license and on the boarding pass, but the photo on the license didn’t match the person standing in front of her. 

Jackson, a brand new TSA officer, trusted her gut and called for assistance. TSA Supervisory Officer Ashley Saunders and the checkpoint law enforcement officer (LEO) responded, taking the passenger aside for additional questioning.

Further investigation by the LEO confirmed the good catch. The passenger, who had two outstanding warrants against him, tried to gain access to the sterile area with someone else’s documents and was arrested.

By providing that same identification to the airline, the passenger also circumvented Secure Flight vetting, a risk-based passenger prescreening program that cross-checks passengers against trusted traveler and other watch lists.

“Since arriving at FLL in September, TSA Officer Jackson has been dependable, reliable and willing to help the operation every way possible,” said FLL TSA Manager Rhadames De Leon. “She is hardworking, proactive, recognizes when she has to take initiative and has a sense of urgency.” 

“Officer Jackson’s awareness exposed the individual’s attempt to circumvent Secure Flight,” added FLL TSA Inspector Mark Barry. “Her actions were essential in the investigative process.”

“We are extremely proud of Officer Jackson’s diligence and alertness in the performance of her duties,” said FLL Federal Security Director Jason Martin. “Because of her focus, TSA was able to keep an unknown individual with unknown intent out of the sterile area.”

By Karen Robicheaux, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs