As a lead transportation security officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport, I am responsible for the security screening of passengers and baggage, as well as supervising and providing training and leadership to other TSA officers. You can identify lead officers because we have two stripes on the shoulders of our uniform. If you see this, these officers are able to provide immediate assistance and on-the-spot resolution to any passenger concerns at the checkpoint. Lead TSA officers take a hands-on approach to supervision.
Training is something that I’ve been doing for a while. Before TSA, I worked for a brokerage firm in New York city as a wire operator tasked with handling one of the firm's money market accounts. With that, I had to provide training for employees in several of their job functions. I carried over many of those lessons of one-on-one instruction and small group sessions to TSA.
Whether it’s in a training session, or a pre-shift brief – I like to share what I have learned through thousands of hours of on-the-job experience with all different types of people. I am filled with pride knowing that I can motivate seasoned and new officers daily, to help them reach their highest potential.
I admit I didn't know what to expect when I got the job. I only knew I was there to protect the flying public, but not sure how. Now I have a better understanding of the TSA mission. The truth is, adversaries are always looking for ways to inflict harm and carry out attacks. As TSA officers, we are securing individual lives and securing a way of life – and that’s a big deal.
Guest Blogger - Pamela Freeman
Lead Transportation Security Officer
John F. Kennedy International Airport