Thursday, May 27, 2010

TSA Response to "Pushy fliers may show up on TSA's radar"

You may have read or heard about a recent article on how fliers might end up in a TSA workplace violence database. The fact is, TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers each day at over 450 airports nationwide. Since we began the workplace violence program in 2007, we've screened over a billion air travelers and yet only about 30 passengers are included on this list.

Roughly 30 names out of the more than 1,000,000,000 passengers screened by TSA since 2007 made the cut.

So how did these 30 folks make the list? Two options:
  • The police got involved.  In all but one incident, local police officers responded to assist in resolving the incident.
  • They got arrested. In the majority of these cases, the individuals involved were arrested or issued summonses by local law enforcement officers for allegedly assaulting a Transportation Security Officer.
In short, to join this select group, a passenger has to commit an egregious act that harms, or threatens to harm, either passengers, airline personnel, or Transportation Security Officers.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

What was conveniently left out of this post was that the article states that 240 incidents are on the list. The other 210 incidents actually involve violence between screeners. It seems interestingly that so many incidents for which a database was created actually involve TSA Agents and not the public at all.

Justin said...

Your math is way off, a very large proportion of the screening count are the same people. Almost everyone that flies will do a round trip and be scanned twice. And many many people fly more than once a year.

RB said...

So you have a program to protect TSA employees from citizens.

What is the name of the program that protects citizens from abuse by TSA employees?

Anonymous said...

Are you really trying to claim that 1 in 6 people on the planet has flown through a US airport in the past few years?

Although you may have carried out the act of screening a person 1 billion times, you haven't screened 1 billion unique people - yet you're talking about the number of unique people on the list. It's apples and orange, and that's just not on...

Anonymous said...

So, 210 screeners assaulting other screeners, is, what, .5% of the screener work force?

Gee, I feel safer.

(Does that 210 include the sexual harassment victim in Miami, I wonder?)

Anonymous said...

What about pushy, rude TSA agents? Where is the list for them? Oh, wait, there isn't one, is there?

deadpass said...

Out of those 30 arrests how many convictions were there?

Anonymous said...

I am glad they are keeping a data base on employees also. I believe this needs to be done everywhere.

Randy said...

There are a number of issues with your response.

1. There are 30 passengers on the list but 240 incidents. Who are the other 210 incidents about? If they are TSOs, then it seems that even adding the passengers will not make a big impact since your employees are causing the most violence.

2. Of the 30 passenger incidents, how many incidents are caused by the same person? It seems to me that a passenger will not be frustrated or angry *every* time he or she travels. To me this implies that the list has a greater potential of being abused by TSOs.

3. How many of the 30 passengers that were actually arrested were convicted? If a TSO *feels* threatened, then *I* want them to react, but it is also possible that your employee *over-reacted*, which may be indicated by an acquittal.

Peace,
Randy

Bubba said...

Bob,

Why did you delete my comment? I´m a pushy flier asking you to stop ignoring the article published in Nature (a leading scientific journal) stating that SPOT does not work.

RB said...

I would suggest that until TSA decides to require TSA employees to perform their jobs with competence, treat travelers with respect and reevaluate some of the CS screening rules in effect and crack down on TSA thieves that TSA is doing nothing more that urinating into the wind.

Blogger Bob said...

Bubba, I didn't delete anything from you. I have approved several comments from you on this subject in several different posts. (Even in this one where it was off topic)

We are aware of the article.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

When will TSA discuss "Clear Care" brand contact lens solution?

Anonymous said...

If a person is arrested for alleged abuse to a TSA worked and later acquitted at trial is he then removed from the database since the courts found there to be no crime committed?

Anonymous said...

This weekend may we all remember the men and women of this country who swore "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

Anonymous said...

That's irony, they can track rowdy fliers... however they can't seem to keep people on the no fly list off the planes

RB said...

Anonymous said...
This weekend may we all remember the men and women of this country who swore "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

May 28, 2010 3:16 PM
...............
The traditional observance of Memorial Day was to remember those military members who died while serving their country.

Many others have taken an oath to defend the Constitution but are not included in the Memorial Day remembrances.

Chris Boyce said...

I am quite familiar with the Federal Government's Workplace Violence Prevention Program and the system of records required under the law for agencies to create and maintain.

The WVPP exists to prevent violent acts between employees and between employees and the public they serve. It has nothing at all to do with non-employees committing violent acts against employees. That's what assault & battery is for.

The only legal reason to place members of the public in this database is if they were victims of violent acts committed against them by TSA employees. To keep records of citizens who commit acts against TSA employees in this system of records is improper and illegal. Your own filing doesn't even say you keep records on citizens whom you believe committed violent acts against screeners!

Which is it, Bob? Sloppy staff work or another illegal TSA database?

Why did it take your agency nearly 8 years to create this mandatory program?

I would also like to advise all passengers and anyone else who has a confrontation with a screener that filing a workplace violence charge against the screener is entirely appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Bob: You admit that you are aware of the article. Why will you not *address* it?

HappyToHelp said...

FYI: Department of Homeland Security- Transportation Security Administration--023 Workplace Violence Prevention Program System of Records [Docket No. DHS-2009-0140]

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

So, merely having the police "involved" in your incident will get you listed in a government bad-boy database now?

Even if the police arrest a person doesn't establish that they should be included on such a list. There's a huge difference between being arrested, being charged with a crime, and ultimately being convicted of that crime.

You write that as though getting arrested is a big deal. It's not. It's simply means a police officer suspects a person might have committed a crime. After that, an investigation will be conducted to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to bound the person over for trial. If there is, an indictment is prepared which is simply a vehicle for getting the person before a jury of his peers to ultimately decide whether or not the person has been proven guilty. At any step of the process, the charges can be deemed baseless and dropped; a person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Again, arrest doesn't establish guilt; why do so many people have difficulty understanding that?

TSO Tom said...

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I'm sorry but this post is dishonest.

You state that there are two criteria, either of which may get a person on the "unruly passenger" list:


* "The police got involved."

* "They got arrested."


Then you attempt to reassure us by stating, "In short, to join this select group, a passenger has to commit an egregious act that harms, or threatens to harm, either passengers, airline personnel, or Transportation Security Officers."

Setting aside the question of how someone could get arrested (option 2) without the police being involved (option 1), all that is required for the police to get involved in any situation is for TSA to summon an officer. Once the call goes out, whether for a legitimate purpose or not, the police are "involved".

If all it takes to be placed on yet another secret list is police involvement, then any traveler is subject to capricious, arbitrary action by any TSA screener for any reason whatsoever.

This list is even more egregious than the no-fly or watch list. At least with those two TSA pretends to have a mechanism for redress. You don't even make that claim for this abomination.

T-the-B at flyertalk

M.Janssen said...

Does a billion air travellers mean a billion unique travellers, or do the figures include 'frequent flyers'?

Anonymous said...

still looking for an answer on this:

If a person is arrested for alleged abuse to a TSA worked and later acquitted at trial is he then removed from the database since the courts found there to be no crime committed?

If you can't answer it please direct me to where I can get it answered.

Gunner said...

* "The police got involved."
------

So, the guy with the PAC money who recorded and thoroughly humiliated TSA is in the database?

Blogger Bob said...

"Taxpayer" -- I can't publish your comments when you're username violates the comment policy. Personally, it doesn't offend me, but those were the rules set forth that enabled TSA to have a blog.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

Is this how you want some TSA stranger hidden away in a dark closet to see your young son or daughter?

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs538.ash1/31492_116905035017501_100000940157455_83609_869034_n.jpg

TSA WBI Porno Vision Strip Search Machines should be illegal!

Anonymous said...

Please answer:

If a person is arrested for alleged abuse to a TSA worked and later acquitted at trial is he then removed from the database since the courts found there to be no crime committed?

If you can't answer it please direct me to where I can get it answered.

Mad-taxpayer said...

Bob your a hypocrite. My old screen name had multiple comments posted then all of a sudden can't because of the "rules". Sound like typical tsa hogwash of changing the rules on the fly for your own needs like has been seen repeatedly at checkpoints around the country. So edit the name and post the comment and answer the question, not dodge it like you normall do.

Jamorama Guitar said...

I think most of you are not looking at the big picture here. Even if the incidents were numbered at around 240, and most, if not all were caused by employees, that sounds like the typical amount of people that are generally rude and extravagant workers.

It's difficult to weed those people out of the work force.

However, 1 billion does seem a bit high. Heck, even if it was a million, I'm still perfectly fine since I try to loyally follow the airline protocol as opposed to nit-picking every aspect of their process.

RB said...

Mad-taxpayer said...
Bob your a hypocrite. My old screen name had multiple comments posted then all of a sudden can't because of the "rules". Sound like typical tsa hogwash of changing the rules on the fly for your own needs like has been seen repeatedly at checkpoints around the country. So edit the name and post the comment and answer the question, not dodge it like you normall do.

June 8, 2010 9:22 PM
.........................
Mad, comments on this TAX PAYER funded blog are protected as political speech.

If TSA has censored your comments file a civil rights complaint.

The Supreme Court has ruled that political speech is protected and this being an extension of the TSA cannot be legally censored.

Blogger Bob has violated his Oath and should be held accountable.

RB said...

Jamorama Guitar said...
I think most of you are not looking at the big picture here. Even if the incidents were numbered at around 240, and most, if not all were caused by employees, that sounds like the typical amount of people that are generally rude and extravagant workers.

It's difficult to weed those people out of the work force.

However, 1 billion does seem a bit high. Heck, even if it was a million, I'm still perfectly fine since I try to loyally follow the airline protocol as opposed to nit-picking every aspect of their process.

June 9, 2010 12:24 PM
............

When TSA hires known felons I don't think TSA is really trying to weed out the TSA Workforce.

RB said...

Jamorama Guitar said...
I think most of you are not looking at the big picture here. Even if the incidents were numbered at around 240, and most, if not all were caused by employees, that sounds like the typical amount of people that are generally rude and extravagant workers.

It's difficult to weed those people out of the work force.

However, 1 billion does seem a bit high. Heck, even if it was a million, I'm still perfectly fine since I try to loyally follow the airline protocol as opposed to nit-picking every aspect of their process.

June 9, 2010 12:24 PM
..................

Just how many BAD APPLES does it take before TSA takes action?



http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1283297&lang=eng_news



"On Wednesday, U.S. Marshal David Drake told the court that the TSA screener at Cyril E. King Airport has two prior convictions on drug-related charges."

Jimmy M. said...

I would cut that total count by half because of a majority being round trip flyers.

30 out of millions is still a low count.

TJ Scalia said...

Are the TSA allowed to pat down a minor. I am 15 years old and extremely disappointed. I have a rare condition where I must have my ventilator on me at all times. I was traveling back home from a one week doctors appointment where I had to fly to when I was stopped by TSA. I knew I would be stopped as I was on our way to the appointment. However this time after showing at least 6 people my vent and explaining that I have a condition where I need it, I got forced to be pat down. In my opinion this was conpletly unnecessary and rude. Again I am a 15 year old boy who should not be pat down by anyone especially for a reason that my ventilator buzzed off in the X-ray machine.