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Transportation Security Administration

10 Things You Might Not Know About TSA

Friday, October 13, 2017
10 Things You Might Not Know About TSA

There are a lot more than 10 things we could tell you, but we kept the list at 10 for brevity. We don’t want to stray into “Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR)” territory. We hope we teach you something new today!

1. The Federal Air Marshal Service is part of TSA

Federal air marshals fly millions of miles each year while patrolling our skies. Watch this video to learn about the men and women of the Federal Air Marshal Service who are highly trained law-enforcement professionals dedicated to making the nation’s transportation systems safe and secure.

2. We work around the world to keep all direct flights to the United States secure

Just because you’re flying from abroad doesn’t mean TSA isn’t still protecting you! Although best known for our work INSIDE the United States, we are also working around the world to ensure a high level of security for flights into the United States. This includes our work with other nations to strengthen global aviation security. Watch this video to learn more about international aviation security. 

3. We train our own explosives detection canines

We have over 900 fuzzy canine colleagues working hard to detect explosives in our airports around the nation. Watch this video to learn how TSA trains canine teams to be a reliable resource at detecting explosives. Highly trained, these teams operate in the aviation, multimodal, maritime, mass transit and cargo environments.

4. The airport isn’t the only place TSA exercises counterterrorism measures

Approximately 26 million daily trips are taken on public transportation. We inspect countless miles of roadway, railroad track, bridges and tunnels to ensure safety and security. Within the surface transportation systems, our primary security focus is oversight, cooperation and regulation. Along with industry partners, we safeguard all four general modes of land-based transportation: mass transit, freight rail, highway motor carrier and pipeline; and support maritime security efforts.

5. Security measures begin long before you arrive at the airport

We work closely with intelligence and law enforcement communities to share information. Additional security measures are in place from the time you make a reservation until you get to your destination. We adjust our processes and procedures to meet the evolving threat and achieve the highest levels of transportation security. Because of this, you may notice changes in our procedures from time to time. View our transportations security timeline to learn more.

6. The time your baggage spends with TSA is relatively short

Compared to the entire journey to your flight, the time your checked baggage spends with TSA is not that long. Watch this video to learn about inline baggage screening systems, which remotely screen and clear a bag no physical inspection. We screen approximately 1.3 million checked and 4.9 million carry-on bags for explosives and other items daily.

7. TSA has an Innovation Task Force

It’s no secret that the threat from terrorism is continuously evolving and imaginative. That’s why TSA is working aggressively and creatively to counter terrorist operations and protect the nation’s transportation systems. Read our blog post to learn more about the task force.       

8. Over 5 million trusted travelers are screened in 5 minutes or less with TSA Pre®

TSA Pre✓® is a component of our intelligence-driven, risk-based security approach used to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way. With a 5 year, $85 membership, you can speed through security and you won’t need to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. Learn more about TSA Pre✓® and sign up today!

9. TSA officers discovered an average of 9 firearms a day in carry-on bags in 2016

You read that correctly. In 2016, TSA officers detected 3,391 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints around the nation. 2,815 of the 3,391 firearms were loaded. See which airports discovered the most firearms and other interesting information by reading our 2016 Year-In-Review blog post.

10. We train new hires at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

TSA training of new hires used to occur at the airports. In January 2016, we centralized our training for new-hires at the TSA Academy within the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to centralize our training. The transition to the TSA Academy provides a common level of training for TSA officers while, achieving stronger consistency across airports. Watch this video to learn more about the academy.

Bob Burns & Jennifer Lapidow - TSA Social Media

Comments

Submitted by Nope on

We don't care. Just stop sexually assaulting us.

Submitted by Laura Monteros on

Very informative! Thanks!

Submitted by Ellen on

I'd like to know the daily average for 2017 YTD. Last year it was 9, this year is probably double that (or more).

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

2. We work around the world to keep all direct flights to the United States secure

Interesting. You never seem to list any prohibited items found in overseas/international flights in your weekly blotter post. Why not?

3. We train our own explosives detection canines

You say you have 900 dogs but then list a bunch of places that aren't airports. So how many of the dogs are actually IN airports. You know, the only place you are authorized to be.

4. The airport isn’t the only place TSA exercises counterterrorism measures

And when was your mission expanded to include all those other places? Who authorized it? When? And why was there no public input regarding the rule changes?

6. The time your baggage spends with TSA is relatively short

Just long enough to have expensive electronics and jewelery disappear.

7. TSA has an Innovation Task Force

Haa haa haa! Your layer cake of security is 'innovation?' Your nudie-scanners that are easily defeated are innovation?

8. Over 5 million trusted travelers are screened in 5 minutes or less with TSA Pre✓®

Yes. Pay the TSA to violate your rights AND your privacy now so you don't have to wait in line to have your rights violated at the airport.

9. TSA officers discovered an average of 9 firearms a day in carry-on bags in 2016

And in a recent post you claimed to screen two million passengers a day. Pretty low find rate when you look at it that way.

10. We train new hires at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

Which still doesn't make you Officers.

I know I didn't hit all ten points on your list, I'll do better next time.

Submitted by Happy Diwali 20... on

thanks for such great post.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Chip in Florida sez - "

2. We work around the world to keep all direct flights to the United States secure

Interesting. You never seem to list any prohibited items found in overseas/international flights in your weekly blotter post. Why not?

3. We train our own explosives detection canines

You say you have 900 dogs but then list a bunch of places that aren't airports. So how many of the dogs are actually IN airports. You know, the only place you are authorized to be.

4. The airport isn’t the only place TSA exercises counterterrorism measures

And when was your mission expanded to include all those other places? Who authorized it? When? And why was there no public input regarding the rule changes?

6. The time your baggage spends with TSA is relatively short

Just long enough to have expensive electronics and jewelery disappear.

7. TSA has an Innovation Task Force

Haa haa haa! Your layer cake of security is 'innovation?' Your nudie-scanners that are easily defeated are innovation?

8. Over 5 million trusted travelers are screened in 5 minutes or less with TSA Pre✓®

Yes. Pay the TSA to violate your rights AND your privacy now so you don't have to wait in line to have your rights violated at the airport.

9. TSA officers discovered an average of 9 firearms a day in carry-on bags in 2016

And in a recent post you claimed to screen two million passengers a day. Pretty low find rate when you look at it that way.

10. We train new hires at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

Which still doesn't make you Officers.

I know I didn't hit all ten points on your list, I'll do better next time."

2. We work with many security organizations world wide to coordinate, compare, find best methods/tech/practices in the aviation security field. This does not mean that we actually screen other countries checkpoints, nor do we publicize their particular discoveries as a regular part of our social media communications.

3. "You know, the only place you are authorized to be."

This is incorrect. Please read more about the assigned duties of TSA here.

4. See The Transportation Security Codes. While primarily focused on aviation, TSA is authorized to work in other trasnportations sectors, either by name, or operating under the DHS umbrella at the direction of the DHS secretary.

6. No theft is acceptable as a TSO. Any that are caught doing this, are addressed per the TSA regulations on punitive action, and in some cases, TSA has helped local LEOs to build cases against TSOs that were violating the law. If you suspect any theft has occurred, please contact TSA immediately.

7. Yes, our processes are innovative. We are consistently testing new equipment, technology and processes to find the best possible way to insure the safety of the traveling public.

8. Pay $85 for 5 years of expedited screening (or $100 for GE, which also has a Customs component to it, making it an excellent choice for our travelrs that frequently visit other countries), which is a bargain.

9. It has always been about trying to prevent as many WEI from getting on planes (incorrectly, as you can transport some weapons safely per regulations).

10. As a matter of fact, it does. Not "Law Enforcement Officers", but the position is "Transportation Security Officer". Finishing school, and then finishing their OJT and other assorted training awards an individual the title of "Officer".

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Not West on

10. Officer in title only. Personally, I think "agent" sounds cooler, but, you can keep pretending to be "officers" with your fake uniforms and fake badges, and fake titles, all you want. You're still less of an "officer" than a mall rent-a-cop.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

Mr Cooper replied "...7. Yes, our processes are innovative. We are consistently testing new equipment, technology and processes to find the best possible way to insure the safety of the traveling public."

You might call what you are doing 'innovative' but there is little about what you that actually is. Everything your weekly blotter has shared over the past year (or longer, I quit looking at about the year mark) was found with the Walk-through-Metal-Detectors or standard x-ray bag scanner. Your "Puffers" are in a warehouse somewhere gathering dust. Your Nudie-Scanners haven't found anything in over a year (have they found anything ever?). The MMW machines haven't found anything in over a year (have they found anything at all, ever?).

Seems like the best system for stopping WEI getting onto the aircraft already presented itself years ago.... and then the TSA was created and screwed it up.

Submitted by Nope on

"Yes, our processes are innovative. We are consistently testing new equipment, technology and processes to find the best possible way to insure the safety of the traveling public."

It's funny you say that, since your primary screening technology is slow, invasive, doesn't work, and has left more people covered in their own urine than it has detected explosives. Why can't you tell the truth, West Cooper? Is that not one of your special gifts?

Submitted by Rolling My Eyes on

"7. Yes, our processes are innovative. We are consistently testing new equipment, technology and processes to find the best possible way to insure the safety of the traveling public." I

Your naked body scanners have a false positive rate of 100%.

Submitted by Ary on

The airport isn’t the only place TSA exercises counterterrorism measures

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

*We train our own explosives detection canines*

That was obvious even before one of them bit a passenger

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

Clerk West, my daughter has a toy badge that says "Deputy Sheriff," but she isn't a Deputy Sheriff even more than TSA clerks are officers. TSA stands for "transportation security administration," but nothing the TSA does contributes anything to transportation or security.

Submitted by Why The Phony C... on

You're not law enforcement, so why do you dress like it? Why not a polo shirt and khakis?

Submitted by Peter on

As a Pre Check traveller -we drop our bags on the belt and then get scanned
Should the machine Beep it can be for something you forgot to take out or YOU CAN BE RANDOMLY SELECTED FOR A CHECK.
What are the current standard rules of what a TSA officer is trained to do? Current process as of October 2017.
If I have an issue of how this was handled at an airport what is the correct channels to lodge a complaint?
Thank you

Submitted by The Surveyor on

It is unfortunate to read the childish remarks by some commenters. Sure, security can always be improved. Here in England, Those actually checking carry on's find lighters, matches , metal instruments that have bypassed our security checks. Great! If only passengers realized that checks are there for our safety: I would rather be strip searched - along with everyone else to be safe. Security is a thankless and expensive task, many thanks to all those who try to keep us safe. T.S.A. is a model other countries - including mine - should emulate.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by The Surveyor on Fri, 2017-10-20 09:47
It is unfortunate to read the childish remarks by some commenters. Sure, security can always be improved. Here in England, Those actually checking carry on's find lighters, matches , metal instruments that have bypassed our security checks. Great! If only passengers realized that checks are there for our safety: I would rather be strip searched - along with everyone else to be safe. Security is a thankless and expensive task, many thanks to all those who try to keep us safe. T.S.A. is a model other countries - including mine - should emulate.

.........................................
TSA is the security model for the world not to emulate. TSA could be compared to KMart, and if you aren't familiar with that name then understand you can't get much worse. TSA methods are unproven to even be necessary, TSA employees show themselves to be poorly trained, poorly motivated and resort to intimidation and threats to abuse the flying public. TSA's own testing prove that TSA screeners perform poorly. The ranks of TSA has been rife with criminals of all manner including murderers, rapist, drug dealers, and pedophiles. So much for TSA personnel background checks! Even TSA employees rank the agency in the bottom of all federal agencies.

If you want an airport screening agency to follow use TSA as the model that demonstrates everything that can be done wrong.

Submitted by Nope on

" If only passengers realized that checks are there for our safety"

How does sexually assaulting people make anyone safer?

Submitted by Anonymous on

One thing everyone should know about TSA:

"DOJ: TSA workers smuggled 20 tons of cocaine into the US"

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/doj-tsa-workers-smuggled-20-tons-of-co...

Twelve current and former Transportation Security Administration employees are facing charges they smuggled millions of dollars in cocaine through airport security in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"The Department of Justice announced Monday the six people named participated in a conspiracy to move 20 tons of cocaine through the San Juan airport. The scheme lasted from 1998 until 2016, according to DOJ."

20 tons. 40,000.00 pounds of cocaine. About $700,000,000.00 U.S. dollars street value. Thank you TSA!

Maybe TSA is so busy smuggling drugs that they miss 95% of target items presented by DHS and Red Teams. Can't let the drug business get in the way of TSA screeners taxpayer funded jobs.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

The Surveyor said "... I would rather be strip searched - along with everyone else to be safe. "

That's nice. Why do you think anyone else feels the same way and more importantly why do you think your willingness to be strip searched should be the standard everyone else should follow?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"10. We train new hires at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

TSA training of new hires used to occur at the airports. In January 2016, we centralized our training for new-hires at the TSA Academy within the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to centralize our training. The transition to the TSA Academy provides a common level of training for TSA officers while, achieving stronger consistency across airports. Watch this video to learn more about the academy."

...................

The TSA Academy is located on the grounds of the FLETC but are not trained by the FLETC which is used for law enforcement training. We all know that the vast majority of TSA employees are not LEO's but just airport screeners.

This attempt to make people wrongfully believe that TSA screeners are somehow associated with real LEO's is not only dishonest but not ethical.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"9. TSA officers discovered an average of 9 firearms a day in carry-on bags in 2016

You read that correctly. In 2016, TSA officers detected 3,391 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints around the nation. 2,815 of the 3,391 firearms were loaded. See which airports discovered the most firearms and other interesting information by reading our 2016 Year-In-Review blog post."

..................................
Why is it that TSA screeners consistently miss upwards of 95% of test target items year after year if screeners are so good at finding threat items? Perhaps finding a handgun isn't such a difficult thing to do, eh? And 9 guns per day out of around 2,000,000 daily passengers screened. How many are being missed is the real data point that needs to be known.

Submitted by Resonable Person on

Thank you TSA for all your efforts in keeping us all safe. And, thank you for putting up with the childish morons that come on this site every week to bash you. What a sad, sad life they must have. God Bless America!

Submitted by Cheryl on

Yes would like to file a complaint!

Submitted by West Cooper on

Cheryl sez - "Yes would like to file a complaint!"

Please visit the Contact TSA Page, and provide your feedback to the Customer service section. I hope this helps.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by And on

Still the comment violating blog policy stands... Why is that, West?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank you TSA for doing your part to keep us safer when flying.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Don’t mind the whiners who post their complaints. If there was a terrorist incident, they’d be the first to blame the TSA anyway.

Submitted by Paula Michtom on

On November 25, LINGERIE, HOSIERY, PANTIES were removed from checked baggage between San Francisco and Newark. On information and belief, others have reported similar thefts. I think that you are employing someone who likes ladies undergarments too much.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Great job

Submitted by Frankly Speaking on

I think there should be two airports in every city - One that has TSA and one that goes back to pre-9/11 security. I know which one I'd chose to fly out of.

Submitted by Jim on

TSA worthless in every way.

Submitted by Freedom Of Speech on

11. You pack gifts for TSA "agents" in your checked luggages even if they weren't meant to be gifts for them. Find out later.

Submitted by Emily Scott on

I had a flight on United Airlines from IAH to SFO, and my checked luggage was chosen to be searched. TSA left all of my zip-lock baggies in my suitcase open as well as a bottle of cream which was supposed to be secured by the zip-lock bag. They also tore open a wrapped gift, which was just as simple terracotta tile, and left the shredded mess in my suitcase. Needless to say, when I opened my bag up there was a disgusting mess left inside of lotion, shredded paper, and ruined clothing. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. I have since been reading countless comments from people who have had similar experiences or worse with this searching of our luggage. So far, out of dozens of comments, I have not heard about anyone receiving any compensation for these damages. Thankfully, my medication wasn't in there or surely that might have ended up all over the place as well. Where is the accountability? Why is TSA so sloppy and wreckless with our personal property? Does TSA training even include the importance of closing things inside of luggage that they had opened?

Submitted by Jennifer on

TSA Don't do that but I bet you would care weather or not a terrorist or a bomb or some other weapon got on bored a plane you or your family was on and you would want TSA to stop that threat right.

Submitted by RealHero on

Disgusting animals!

Submitted by Ferrelas on

"The TSA was created as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Its first administrator, John Magaw, was nominated by President Bush on December 10, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate the following January. The agency's proponents, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, argued that only a single federal agency would better protect air travel than the private companies who operated under contract to single airlines or groups of airlines that used a given terminal facility.

Prior to its creation, private security firms managed air travel security.

The organization was charged with developing policies to protect U.S. transportation, especially in airport security and the prevention of aircraft hijacking.

TSA Screeners represent a case of a large scale staffing project completed over a short period. The only effort in U.S history that came close to it was the testing of recruits for the armed forces in the Second World War. TSA screeners, during the period from February to December 2002, 1.7 million applicants were assessed for 55,000 positions.

With state, local, and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, pipelines and ports. However, the bulk of the TSA's efforts are in aviation security. The TSA is responsible for screening passengers and baggage at more than 450 U.S. airports."

It took me seconds to google this, stay educated.

PS Do you know florida man?

Submitted by TSA on

TSA = They Screwed America

Submitted by Prior Service M... on

Dear "Not West" Actually you seem to have it twisted. TSA may label them as officers however I would prefer an agent on board as opposed to an officer any day. Officers are technically oversight managers assigned to handle paperwork and duty taskings and may not have the up to date training and hands on experience required to respond to immediate action. Don't get mixed up with the term from being a Police Officer or a security guard you find at the mall... Agents are specialists in their field, trained for special missions, similar to what the FBI and DEA use. They are highly proficient at what they do and provide much more security than an average officer since they are the last point of effort "if" someone actually makes it on board with with bad intent for the other passenegers.