USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

TSA on the Job: Lead Transportation Security Officer

Monday, April 03, 2017
Lead Transportation Security Officer Freeman

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 at JFK

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.

Leads have two stripes.

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

Comments

Submitted by Tim on

Thank you for your service!

Submitted by RB on
"As a lead transportation security officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport, I am responsible for the security screening of passengers'

Like the eleven passengers that JFK TSA didn't screen recently?

"Lead TSA officers take a hands-on approach to supervision."

Hands on, like the excessive physical screening of the boy at DFW?

Maybe TSA should stop patting itself on the back and reevaluate exactly why TSA is doing the things TSA does.

Clue, the public is about done with TSA!
Submitted by Doober on

Moving the bad news off the front page as fast as you can, Bob?

Submitted by Fix The TSA on

Pamela, you aren't keeping anyone safe and "adversaries" aren't trying to use the airline industry to attack the US. The TSA said so in court. Did your bosses tell you?

Touching innocent men, women, and children's breasts, buttocks, and genitals does not keep anyone safe. It's assault.

Submitted by Fix The TSA on

Pamela, please don't push TSA lies and propaganda to your staff. Make sure they know how to give good customer service.

Submitted by CDATruth on

Great job Pamela!! Keep JFK safe with your diligence and patience for the rude comments above.

Submitted by Teresa Harner on

Those that are so negative towards these Officers, be a solution, join and see if you are able to make a difference. Otherwise please stop judging what you have no clue about.

Submitted by Chip And Andy on

"...I am responsible for the security screening of passengers "

So you are the one responsible for the 11 people who simply skipped the screening process? I find it interesting that you are still employed after that little incident then because the guy who missed the firearm in Atlanta just got his pink slip.

"... The truth is, adversaries are always looking for ways to inflict harm and carry out attacks. "

Yes. Yes they are. And the TSA is proof positive they aren't looking to aviation as a way to carry out those attacks. In the past week alone your agency has failed enough times to prove that the TSA couldn't secure a cup of coffee even if it was empty.

Submitted by Laura Monteros on

I do appreciate the work most TSA employees are trying to do. I don't like the jump to conclusions that since 11 people got through unscreened, it is this officer's fault, because there are scores of officers at JFK.

But I also question the necessity of TSA. Every week, a blogpost recounts all the weapons and questionable materials that are confiscated. If this much is confiscated from people who know they will be searched, how much got through before 9/11, with very few incidents in the US? Does fearmongering justify searching terrified children and the disabled?

I also do not think TSA employees--who are OUR employees, they work for the taxpayers in the USA--are held accountable when there are complaints. The TSA is simply not customer-friendly, even though those "customers" are actually their employers.

Submitted by Boldly on

Teresa Harner said...
Those that are so negative towards these Officers, be a solution, join and see if you are able to make a difference. Otherwise please stop judging what you have no clue about.

Amen Sister. They have been proven so many times to be absolutely wrong on their (pre)judgments and facts. They are actually comical at best. They complain that TSA has a x% failure rate (based off very bias and targeted tests) yet complain when TSA make corrections to the known weaknesses that are being tested. Not to mention the repeating of the same question time and time again regardless of how many times it has been answered. Isn't that almost the definition of insanity?In their minds, they know best. And I guess this is what makes them happy. And we all know, misery loves company...

Submitted by RB on

Has Bobbie lost the handle on weekly updates? Last one covered the period of 3/13 to 3/19 but wasn't posted until 3/25.

It's now 4/6 so two full weeks have gone by without a weekly update.

Just more TSA Professionalism being demonstrated?

Submitted by Yes4TSA on

Thanks for doing your job with pride. I'm sure it is not easy with passengers and blog commenters being so negative about your job. Ignore the haters, your work is appreciated.

Submitted by Doober on

Well, here's another example of TSA abusing a passenger who was a victim of rape before she arrived at a TSA checkpoints and had to suffer because the MMW alarmed on non-existent "anomalies". Her husband filed a complaint and within a month she received a notice from the TSA Office of Investigation:

"On March 13, 2017, I received a "Letter of Investigation" from the TSA telling me that I was under investigation for Failure to comply causing the screening process to be slowed and was at risk of an $11,000 fine. We contacted our US Representative immediately and eventually my husband spoke to the investigator on my case who made it clear that Inwas under investigation because I had posted the video which had gotten only 2900 views."

Article is here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-attack-on-our-civil-liberties-b...

Her name is Kimberly Poole Tobin and the video of the pat down can be seen on her FB page. The genital jab is clear in the video. And it's also clear that she is in tears and very upset at being molested.

screen shot/DHS IG statement

Submitted by Chip And Andy on

Boldy asserted again (and still wrongly) ... " Not to mention the repeating of the same question time and time again regardless of how many times it has been answered. "

And yet somehow every time you make that claim you manage to not provide a link to any of the answers that are repeatedly asked. You keep claiming the answer was given but not accepted and still we who keep asking the questions disagree with your assertion. Google also disagrees with you. Bing disagrees with you. Alexa doesn't even seem to know who you are. Quora actually asks the same questions we do but does so in a much more elegant way.

Show us, or get your boss West to show us, where these answers are. You may not be able to post links, but someone higher up in the org chart can.

Submitted by Fix The TSA on

Thanks for letting us know about this latest TSA abuse, Doober.

Submitted by Grandma To 5 on

If she as going to get that upset, she should have opted to be screened in private. I am about to board my flight home and I have to say that the screening on my way here was the most extensive I've ever had. BUT. The process was explained to me before hand and I was given the choice to go to a private setting. Not that it would have made any difference in this case. If this passenger was going to be that upset, maybe she should think about taking the train next time.

Submitted by Boldly on

Chip and Andy said...
Boldy asserted again (and still wrongly) ... " Not to mention the repeating of the same question time and time again regardless of how many times it has been answered. "

And yet somehow every time you make that claim you manage to not provide a link to any of the answers that are repeatedly asked. You keep claiming the answer was given but not accepted and still we who keep asking the questions disagree with your assertion. Google also disagrees with you. Bing disagrees with you. Alexa doesn't even seem to know who you are. Quora actually asks the same questions we do but does so in a much more elegant way.

Show us, or get your boss West to show us, where these answers are. You may not be able to post links, but someone higher up in the org chart can.

I'm not to concerned that your search engines don't help you nor do I have any interest in doing research for you. Feel free to keep asking the same question. I believe that is in part the definition of insanity.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Not a single person has asked you to do research for them. They've said, basically, "put up or shut up." The fact that you continually refuse to "put up" speaks volumes.

Submitted by Chip And Andy on

Boldy asserts, still wrongly... "...Feel free to keep asking the same question. I believe that is in part the definition of insanity. "

Feel free to keep offering your wrong assertion that the question has been answered. No one is asking you to do the research because that has already been done. You are being asked directly to answer the question you say has been answered. You are being asked directly to provide a link to the answer to the question asked. That is not 'research' that is simple cut and paste. Surely you can handle something as simple as cut and paste, cant' you? And your bosses at the TSA have surely given you enough authority to be able to cut and paste an answer that has already been given because if it has already been given it is no longer behind the curtain of SSI.

So...... make with the link already. Show the world how insane I am for asking the same question over and over again and cut and paste the answer into this conversation. Be the hero you always wanted to be and provide the answer.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Screening in private is even worse. You see what the TSA does to travellers when they are being observed by the public. Can you imagine how they'd treat travellers behind closed doors?

Submitted by Wintermute on

Show us once where TSAs detractors have been proven wrong.

Submitted by Wintermute on

11 people went through recently without being screened. This isn't a mock weapon that got through, but 11 entire human beings that made it through. How is that keeping anyone safe? One of more of the 11 could have been terrorists. The TSA could have finally stopped a terrorist had they only been screened. The fact that nothing happened means absolutely nothing... Except maybe that the TSA isn't really needed...

Submitted by Boldly on

Show the world how insane I am for asking the same question over and over again and cut and paste the answer into this conversation. Be the hero you always wanted to be and provide the answer.

Is it ok if I just smile at the irony?

Submitted by Chip And Andy on
Is it ok if I just smile at the irony?

It's only ironic if the question has actually been answered.

It has not.

So that kinda makes you subject of the irony so smile all you want.