Just when you think you have seen everything, something totally unexpected happens.
At Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) Terminal C, an airline employee tried to enter the employee portal but was directed to undergo Advanced Threat Local Allocation Strategy (ATLAS) screening. BOS TSA Officer (TSO) David Strassburger gave the appropriate advisements to the employee and then proceeded with a pat-down.
The procedure was progressing without any alarms until Strassburger discovered something in the individual’s groin area and was unable to resolve the alarm.
“Due to the circumstances of the event and the specifics as to where the employee was concealing the items, it was pretty unusual,” said Strassburger.
Using his resources, he reached out to BOS Lead TSA Officer (LTSO) Brian Watts and explained the situation. Watts took control of the procedure but was also unable to clear the groin area.
Upon further questioning, the employee admitted he concealed two small bottles - one containing synthetic urine and the other a heating element - in an effort to pass his employer's drug test.
“When the employee told us what he had concealed, we were shocked to say the least,” Watts explained. “He could have said almost anything else, but bottles of synthetic urine? That was the last thing we would have thought about.”
As a result, Massachusetts State Police revoked the employee's SIDA badge.
Both Officers praised the benefits of ATLAS and the program’s ability for TSOs to adapt and respond rapidly.
“TSA BOS extends its appreciation and commends TSO Strassburger and LTSO Watts for their diligent work in addressing and preventing potential insider threats,” said BOS TSA Manager Brian Cardona. “Their professional conduct and adherence to our rigorous security protocols ensure the safety and security of our airport community.”
Boston’s Federal Security Director (FSD) also applauded the two Officers for their diligence and commitment to excellence.
"Thanks to their training and persistent commitment to excellence, LTSO Watts and TSO Strassburger embody the spirit of TSA BOS and our entire agency,” said BOS FSD Bob Allison. “Their recent success in addressing an insider threat underscores the significance of collaboration and vigilance in safeguarding a secure aviation environment for all."
By Wayne Carey, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs