Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inappropriate Note Author Identified and Removed From Screening

*** Update 10/27/11: After working with our Office of Chief Counsel and Privacy Office, we have been cleared to say the following: TSA has completed its investigation of this matter, and has initiated action to remove the individual from federal service.  Like all federal employees, this Transportation Security Officer is entitled to due process and the protections embodied in the Privacy Act.   Pending the completion of the removal action, the employee will not perform any screening duties. ***

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Earlier this week, a passenger found a highly inappropriate note scrawled on a "Notice of Inspection" that TSA places in checked bags if they are required to be searched. She tweeted a photo of what she found and we soon learned of the incident.

TSA quickly launched an investigation and identified the employee responsible. That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated.

The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

Agency officials have also reached out to the passenger to personally apologize for this unfortunate incident.

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

180 comments:

Richard Crowley said...

Why was this employee not terminated?

Anonymous said...

Great job. Now just knock it off with the nudie scans, groping, pointless shoe removal, and Tennessee highway searches.

Anonymous said...

Note there is no statement that the individual was fired.

RB said...

If this employee was not fired then the corrective action was not adequate.

Anonymous said...

Good job taking swift action...thank you.

Anonymous said...

"The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior."

Zero Tolerance? Really? Then what happened to the TSO who recently brought his gun to work and brought it into the secure area?

Anonymous said...

So the offending TSA employee was "removed from screening operations"? How much do a citizen's rights have to be violated before a TSA employee gets fired?

judith.butlertron said...

The employee was "removed from screening" and "disciplined"? Where else does TSA feel confident letting this person exert security efforts on its behalf?

How about "fired for using his/her privilege as a screening agent to sexually harass a customer"? How about "fired for providing ironclad proof of the abuses that people predicted would happen by sexualizing the invasion of privacy that the TSA has deemed necessary for security"?

"GET YOUR FREAK ON, GIRL" - This isn't unprofessional behaviour, it's borderline criminal.

Anonymous said...

Nice. Now, if you can identify this three-striper and "educate" him on the photography policy, that'd be great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SXaI4Twm_A

Dan said...

Since he is still employed, you do are tolerating it very well.

Justin M said...

If you truly had a zero tolerance for this sort of abuse, you would have terminated this agent's employment immediately.

Justin M said...

If you truly had a zero tolerance for this sort of abuse, you would have terminated this agent's employment immediately.

Anonymous said...

You mean you have "zero tolerance" if the victim of your unprofessional behavior can reach a nationwide audience. Tell the truth, Curtis!

Anonymous said...

Let me guess. They were sent to sensitivity training and will be on the job again in a week.

Anonymous said...

This incident illustrates in a very small way why TSA is wrong for America. It is also a reminder of the kind of nation we ought to be: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Anonymous said...

How many times has the TSA stated they have no tolerance for inappropriate behavior in their ranks? However, routine stories of unprofessional behavior at the TSA just keep coming.

I, like many Americans, no longer trust the TSA. Your actions do not match your repeated promises of better behavior.

Anonymous said...

And by "appropriate disciplinary action," is it safe to assume that he was told to go high five all the supervisors on his way to retraining?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you fire this sick freak? Is this the caliber of persons you keep on staff?

Anonymous said...

Why does he still have any TSA job. Most are fired for much less. Tax funded jobs are guaranteed secure for bad behavior.

Nadav said...

It's good to see you're admitting fault when necessary.

Now that it happened, what is the TSA going to do in order to prevent these incidents from happening again?

Nadav

Anonymous said...

You say "removed from screening". That's not the same thing as "fired". I'm assuming that either a) you can't say "fired" because it would violate employee confidentiality or b) the employee is still living at taxpayer expense, in some role other than screening luggage. Could you clarify on this? Clearly this is not a person who should be getting a TSA paycheck and I would like a clear answer on that.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that the TSA only takes action when a mistake goes viral. Also it is unfortunate that that is the only circumstance in which TSA will follow up with the passenger. On an inbound flight from Europe, several years ago, TSA officers in Portland, OR moved items between my and my then-girlfriends baggage. We we not traveling on the same ticket and did not have any other indicators that we were traveling together. When I called to lodge a complaint I was told that even if I filed a complaint I would never know if or how it was resolved.

And yet you wonder why TSA is universally despised and hated.

Jim Huggins said...

I'm pleased that TSA is acting to remedy this situation.

I'm curious, though ... Fox News reported that a TSA spokesperson said that "there is no evidence to suggest one of its agents was behind the note". Clearly, there was plenty of evidence. Care to explain?

Anonymous said...

doesn't "zero tolerance" mean that this employee should have been sacked and not just reassigned???

Thomas Cameron said...

Bwahahahaha!!! "...highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior."

Wrong. That's the only kind of behavior I've seen from TSA. I calmly explain every time I go through an airport with back-scatter that I believe that it is an invasion of my privacy and a violation of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution. I'm civil and do not make any personal attacks. I've had TSA agents square off as if preparing to hit me, insult me, loudly and publicly deride me as if I were an idiot. For defending the Constitution. Oh, and having the audacity to exercise my 1st Amendment right to free speech.

The TSA is completely ineffectual, nothing but smoke and mirrors and hand waving. "Oooh, lookie here, we're DOING something!" Meanwhile, the liberties that our Founders fought and died to give us are being attacked and eroded. It's pathetic, and wrong.

I'm not some hippy left-wing nutjob. I'm a pretty conservative former police officer who comes from a long line of men who have served in military and law enforcement positions. I'm very much pro-law and order. I believe I'm a patriot, and I certainly love what this country is supposed to be. I just don't think it is what it was founded to be any more. A lot of why I think that is because of heavy-handed tactics like those of the TSA.

Jay / San Francisco said...

If you have zero tolerance, why wasn't the screener fired?

Anonymous said...

One of the comments on the twitter pic:

"Throw it away. If someone was so unprofessional, they may have done more than just a note."

The professional screeners will know to not leave a note, no matter what they might have done with the "personal item."

Anonymous said...

Why not fire the employee?

Randy said...

Perfect!

If you react like this for all of these types of incidents, your reputation will improve.

Peace,
Randy

evan said...

How can a person report an incident like this without alerting the media and relying on their story going viral?

Mike said...

Removed from screening operations? Why not FIRED?

Nancy said...

Years ago a TSA agent demanded that mom take off a necklace that was highly valuable and a family heirloom before going through security. She insisted that she did not have to because the necklace was gold. He would not let her go further without complying with his request. Having no choice she felt, she complied.

No surprise when she got to the other side of security the necklace had disappeared. We contacted TSA, our member of Congress and others to no avail and had no recourse.

Too bad Twitter wasn't around in 2004 for me to make a stink. I'm sure your agent has enjoyed my mom's necklace in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

Good work, TSA, in taking action swiftly.

Anonymous said...

Apparently zero tolerance doesn't mean you're fired, just that you are removed from screening... It was probably a promotion!

Anonymous said...

Why was the person not flat out fired? Apparently this is one of the fringe benefits of working for a pointless government make-work program like TSA airport security? Anyone in private industry would be fired on the spot. Ridiculous that this individual no doubt continues to collect a paycheck from the taxpayers.

TJIC said...

> appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated

So he's still on the payroll, and we taxpayers are still on the hook for his salary?

I know of several governmental organizations where "the appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated" means absolutely nothing.

"Initiated" means "we filed a piece of paper; his union will contest it, and we'll cave".

"Appropriate" means "a record in his file...which will be destroyed after six months of good behavior".

"Action" means absolutely nothing.

So: please tell us EXACTLY what action you've "initiated".

Anonymous said...

Wow, "removed from screening operations." Not quite the same thing as "fired," is it? That would certainly have been my idea of "appropriate disciplinary action." "Removed from screening operations" sounds kind of like "given a desk job and only a very small raise."

TSM said...

Really Bob?
While agreed that it was innapropriate - "discipline"?
Come on. 1st they accuse of of being Nazi like, then when we show a little harmless humor, they get all preachy....
Phuuleezze!

Anonymous said...

Was the individual fired as the "zero tolerance" policy would imply?

Brent said...

WOW! In my opinion this advice is the only thing that TSA has done that's worth anything. Make the TSA agent a supervisor!

Anonymous said...

Simply put: this action would necessitate immediate termination anywhere else. Please fix this.

SarahW said...

Is the agent FIRED? Or just moved into a different job?

previous 1L said...

Please tell me "appropriate disciplinary actions" means "fired."

Mike Toreno said...

"That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated."

Refresher training?

Anonymous said...

The fact it happened at all demonstrates a fundamental problem with how the TSA operates. Humiliating and embarrassing those your very existence is supposed to be about protecting.

Why are we not surprised. If a cop behaved that way rhett would have been named, shamed and the victim compensated... But the TSA continues to behave as though the laws don't apply to them.

josebrwn said...

I have to disagree with the TSA's assessment of the severity of this incident, and point out the inappropriateness of not terminating the TSA employee responsible for this act. This wasn't simply 'inappropriate and unprofessional', it was a violation of a citizen's dignity and privacy, and arguably a civil rights violation (4th amendment). TSA culture doesn't seem to recognize the boundaries that our constitution places before them: from forcing a woman to remove a nipple piercing while agents openly laughed at her, to searching the diapers of the elderly and infirmed, to groping small children and even infants, the TSA proves again and again its disdain for the civil rights and the dignity of American citizens.

josebrwn said...

I have to disagree with the TSA's assessment of the severity of this incident, and point out the inappropriateness of not terminating the TSA employee responsible for this act. This wasn't simply 'inappropriate and unprofessional', it was a violation of a citizen's dignity and privacy, and arguably a civil rights violation (4th amendment). TSA culture doesn't seem to recognize the boundaries that our constitution places before them: from forcing a woman to remove a nipple piercing while agents openly laughed at her, to searching the diapers of the elderly and infirmed, to groping small children and even infants, the TSA proves again and again its disdain for the civil rights and the dignity of American citizens.

xinit said...

By "appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated" I'm assuming you mean "we're firing this person."

Anything less is inappropriate.

Forkimified said...

Wait... Agency officials have also reached out to the **passenger** to personally apologize for this unfortunate incident?

Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

What is "appropriate action"? Why wasn't the screener fired?

Anonymous said...

And people I work with wonder why I pack my dirty laundry in the top layer of my checked luggage.

Cerulean Bill said...

I don't expect that you'll say if you fired him (even private companies are loathe to say that), but the first thought I had was "What if 'appropriate action' meant 'read the regs, watch this video, get a sad note in your file, and be at work Monday morning?' It'd be nice to know that this person won't eventually end up doing that job again.

Anonymous said...

Another perfect example of the quality of people employed by TSA. I'm sure the appropriate action taken will be retraining.

Anonymous said...

What? There are the kind of people that are looking at the strip search machines. Why wasn't he fired? What the heck does a TSA employee need to do for that to happen?

Anonymous said...

"Removed from screening"? Not fired? So, correct me if I'm wrong, still on the payroll of the TSA, and, by extension, the American taxpayer?

RB said...

The problem is bigger than TSA realizes.

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish/2011/10/26/tsa-screener-professionalism-crossing-the-line/

TSA Screener Professionalism & Crossing The Line

10.26.2011 | Author: flyingfish


"This morning “Betty” was in the gate area at Sacramento International Airport, waiting to board her flight, with a TSA Agent approached her and asked her if she was on Facebook, and personal questions of that nature. After a moment, “Betty’s” husband, who was traveling with her realized that she was not being detained and questions, but rather than TSA Agent was flirting with her and hitting on her. “Betty,” a PhD Candidate who has been researching the TSA for part of her thesis, was not amused by this line of questioning."

Philip Hades said...

"Zero tolerance"?
You've just shifted the employee from one place in the organization to another. Maybe it's because I'm an outsider, but that doesn't sound particularly like Zero Tolerance. Sounds more like re-arranging deck chairs.

Anonymous said...

This screener should be fired. There are millions of unemployed people infinitely more professional than this ass who could take his job in a heart beat.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you fire him altogether?

Rob said...

They should make the screeners check the bag through something like a glass bead machine. A window with heavy gloves where they can manipulate the contents but not add or remove any items.

If something is found it can go to a area with video and oversight.

Remove the access but allow them to search through something which would also lessen the rush of screeners being subjected to harmful contents.

Chris Boyce said...

Please tell us if anything other than the sex toy caused the checked bag search. How could your clerk search the bag for whatever reason, find the sex toy, write his personal comments on the "We searched your bag" note and NOT be reported by his fellow clerks?

Tell the American People you serve just how you "reached out" to the citizen? Was it to talk her out of filing a lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you could also follow up by describing (or a providing a link to policy) what sort of guidelines are in place for professional conduct of employees going through people's highly personal belongings. While this turned into a high profile incident, I think it is a bit of a mystery to people who is looking at their belongings and why.

Anonymous said...

We are getting unfortunate contradictions from TSA regarding this incident. The original news story that I read about this matter cited the TSA as stating there was no evidence TSA was responsible for the note, even though it was in a piece of luggage and on a TSA notice. Now the person who wrote the note has been found?

The other contradiction is in the announcement of disciplinary action. TSA has zero tolerance for this behavior, but the agent was not fired and instead disciplinary action has been initiated. My high school had a zero tolerance policy on certain behaviors. If you were caught, you no longer attended that high school. THAT is zero tolerance.

-Cory

Anonymous said...

How about "Removed from employment"?

Anonymous said...

Umm, why wasn't the employee fired?

Anonymous said...

Let's be specific here, Bob. The note was "get your freak on, girl" (in capital letters) and was written on agency LETTERHEAD.

If this person can be identified that means other people saw the action take place. If so, why did other TSA agents not intervene or report the incident? No one came forward until the owner of the luggage went public.

TSA agents cover up for one another, whether it is theft or "inappropriate" note writing.

Blogger Bob said...

Good morning.I was out yesterday and working on and off from home, so posts weren't moderated last night. I'll start moderating right away.

As far as whether or not the officer was fired, as much as I'd like to give you the full scoop, my hands are tied. If you're wondering why, you can read this post from 2009 where I explain why we can't go into detail on disciplinary actions.

You're Fired! But Not Yet...

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that this person wasn't fired immediatly? I can't think of a single company that would allow someone to do this to one of their customers and not be fired immediatly.

What a joke, there is no reason this person should still be working for the TSA.

Mike G. said...

Bob, can you clarify a bit?

I've never put a comment up here before, so I'm not exactly sure of the protocol.

1. Readers understand you can't "go into detail." However, you've already described a punishment/response for this employee.

2. So this sets up the question for most readers. We understand why any employee who might be fired would still be entitled to do process.

What we wonder is: has the TSA process STARTED for termination?

That information is clearly equivalent to what you've already disclosed.

Therefore addressing this question would be acceptable under your own lawyers' privacy description (per the link) of what is allowed.

So, straight up: has TSA started the termination process?

My sense from reading your careful (though polite) note was: TSA has not, does not intend to, but would prefer not to acknowledge this.

Anonymous said...

I work for the government and I work with citizens who pay my salary and benefits. I am always polite and respectful. I would be fired in a NY minute if I did something like that. TSA is an embarrassment to the US, and an inefficient, goofy piece of mere security theater.

I used to enjoy traveling by air; now I dread it.

Anonymous said...

I work for the government and I work with citizens who pay my salary and benefits. I am always polite and respectful. I would be fired in a NY minute if I did something like that. TSA is an embarrassment to the US, and an inefficient, goofy piece of mere security theater.

I used to enjoy traveling by air; now I dread it.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Cameron said...
"I'm not some hippy left-wing nutjob. I'm a pretty conservative former police officer who comes from a long line of men who have served in military and law enforcement positions. I'm very much pro-law and order. I believe I'm a patriot, and I certainly love what this country is supposed to be. I just don't think it is what it was founded to be any more. A lot of why I think that is because of heavy-handed tactics like those of the TSA."

Thank you sir. If there were more people like you this country would be a better place. The TSA is causing great harm to this country.

Anonymous said...

Curtis, why did TSA initially lie and claim the note was not left by a TSA screener?

How can we trust you to be telling us the truth now about the alleged "disciplining" of your perverted screener?

Blogger Bob said...

Jim Huggins said... I'm curious, though ... Fox News reported that a TSA spokesperson said that "there is no evidence to suggest one of its agents was behind the note". Clearly, there was plenty of evidence. Care to explain?
October 26, 2011 4:04 PM

-----------------------

Jim, this was the statement given before the investigation was complete. At the time, there was no absolute indisputable evidence.

Bags change hands several times before the passenger picks them up at their destination.

Our post was published yesterday and the article you cite is from the 24th.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

ktl said...

I am soooooo glad that we have done such excellent screening to insure that we hire only the most "professional staff" in our beloved TSA. Also that when one of the employees makes a wee bitty slip he is "removed from the screening" process. I'm glad that the government doesn't behave like private industry and kick such a twit out the door immediately.

Not.

Blogger Bob said...

evan said... How can a person report an incident like this without alerting the media and relying on their story going viral?
October 26, 2011 5:08 PM

-----------------------

Great question, Evan. This can be done by contacting TSA through Talk to TSA. By using Talk to TSA, your complaint will be sent directly to the TSA Customer Support Manager at the same airport the incident occurred.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Nadav said...It's good to see you're admitting fault when necessary. Now that it happened, what is the TSA going to do in order to prevent these incidents from happening again? Nadav October 26, 2011 3:54 PM
------------------------

This was a bad judgement call plain and simple. Our employees already know this type of behavior is unacceptable. This incident will be a reminder that there is zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"this was the statement given before the investigation was complete. At the time, there was no absolute indisputable evidence."

The TSA spokesperson said "there is no evidence", not "no absolute indisputable evidence"

Outright denial, lies and spin are why people simply cannot trust Official TSA spokespersons.

Anonymous said...

"Bags change hands several times before the passenger picks them up at their destination."

Which highlights a very large security hole the TSA ignores.

kaszeta said...

A simple question of mine: I've also had, umm, editorial comments left on TSA inspection notices.

Nothing that I'd personally call offensive, but definitely stuff that's unprofessional. For example, the latest one I had was "WTF?!"

Should I be reporting these?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said...
"As far as whether or not the officer was fired, as much as I'd like to give you the full scoop, my hands are tied. If you're wondering why, you can read this post from 2009 where I explain why we can't go into detail on disciplinary actions."

Sorry Bob, but this is not acceptable.

If the rules won't let you talk then the rules are wrong and need to be changed.

When someone is in a position of power over the public they need to be *publicly* accountable for their actions. Anything less just invites abuse.

As long as you protect the guilty no one will trust anything you do.

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
Good morning.I was out yesterday and working on and off from home, so posts weren't moderated last night. I'll start moderating right away.

As far as whether or not the officer was fired, as much as I'd like to give you the full scoop, my hands are tied. If you're wondering why, you can read this post from 2009 where I explain why we can't go into detail on disciplinary actions.

You're Fired! But Not Yet...

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

October 27, 2011 7:52 AM

...................
On some occasions it is appropriate for the head of TSA to make a public policy statement. the statement in this case should be that TSA will not tolerate this type of act and employees found to have engaged in this type of conduct will be dismissed. A statement such as this does not infringe on the employees rights in any way since the employee is not identified.

I question, just where were the supervisors?

Why TSA is it that TSA employees have more rights than people who travel?

RB said...

Great question, Evan. This can be done by contacting TSA through Talk to TSA. By using Talk to TSA, your complaint will be sent directly to the TSA Customer Support Manager at the same airport the incident occurred.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

October 27, 2011 9:17 AM

.............
And have absolutely nothing happen.

Blogger Bob said...

kaszeta said... A simple question of mine: I've also had, umm, editorial comments left on TSA inspection notices.

Nothing that I'd personally call offensive, but definitely stuff that's unprofessional. For example, the latest one I had was "WTF?!"

Should I be reporting these?
October 27, 2011 9:34 AM

-----------------

Absolutely.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Great question, Evan. This can be done by contacting TSA through Talk to TSA. By using Talk to TSA, your complaint will be sent directly to the TSA Customer Support Manager at the same airport the incident occurred.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

==

Bob, I have reported two incidents using that form and I never once heard back.

Is not giving feedback SOP?

Anonymous said...

"Our employees already know this type of behavior is unacceptable."

Clearly, Curtis, they don't, since they apparently do this sort of thing frequently. Why can't you admit your workforce is poorly trained and unprofessional?

RB said...

Clearly, Curtis, they don't, since they apparently do this sort of thing frequently.

Why can't you admit your workforce is poorly trained and unprofessional?

October 27, 2011 10:13 AM



..............
Do you think being poorly trained and unprofessional ends with the TSA front line screeners?

SarahW said...

Why are TSA employees leaving editorial comments in anyone's luggage?

If they were privately employed, offending employees could be fired on the spot.

Citizens are still paying for this creep TSA employee. Outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Bureaucratic comedy.

Definition: When something outlandish happens and the people of the bureaucracy solve the problem with something equally or more outlandish.

Example: An employee displays improper - off the wall - behavior and the solution is to retrain or counsel the employee.

Problem (Joke): People aren't robots. There is no reset button. If a person has poor judgement, sociopathic or deviate mindset, no amount of retraining or counseling will resolve the situation.

Result: Bureaucratic gobbledygook to explain away a problem without taking any real action.

The Admiral said...

How about a name and photo of this guy?

We know who the victim is and have seen her photo, post up the same info for the guilty party that probably won't be fired.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if this agent is male or female. They need to be fired. We trust TSA agents to exercise discretion and good judgement. Clearly this agent isn't capable of either.

Anonymous said...

"Is not giving feedback SOP?"

The lack of substantive response you will receive to this question will give you the answer.

At best Bob can ask you to re-submit your complaint.

What should be happening is that responses to complaints should be tracked and audited.

That fact they aren't gives us all a hint on how the TSA perceives complaints.

Ayn R. Key said...

You know, Curtis, you remark about how you cannot disclose the specifics of this case and I understand. Unlike passengers, the screeners have rights. But there is a way you can greatly boost the image of the TSA without violating the rights of the individual screeners involved in inappropriate behavior.

You can give us a blog post on what are the punishments given for certain behaviors. You never have to mention any individual screener ever. Just leave it in the abstract.

For example:

A = suspended without pay
B = demotion and pay cut
C = police called upon discovery
D = fired, suspended with pay during investigation
E = fired, suspended without pay during investigation
F = one day of retraining and returned to duty
G = suspended with pay
H = promotion

et cetera

I think the reason you don't do that is because every offense will get the response F, G, or H.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that it was a male!

Anonymous said...

I have been with the TSA for 9 years. The Officer should not have been removed from the screening operation . . . he should have been removed from the agency. It is a terrible reflection on the administration and to all of the good folks working here. Believe me, it hurts!

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:
"As far as whether or not the officer was fired, as much as I'd like to give you the full scoop, my hands are tied. If you're wondering why, you can read this post from 2009 where I explain why we can't go into detail on disciplinary actions."

Your hands may be tied by your supervisors but the TSA absolutely can release the dispostion of the investigation. The question is why TSA management won't allow it to be released?

Anonymous said...

He should be FIRED. This is outrageous.

Anonymous said...

"As far as whether or not the officer was fired, as much as I'd like to give you the full scoop, my hands are tied."

---------------------------------
Why is this different than the Hawaii situation where in a blog post titled "Accountability", this was said:

Today, we delivered over thirty proposed letters of removal to employees implicated in the investigation (including two senior managers). As Administrator Pistole said, "We hold our workforce to the

highest ethical standards and will not tolerate employees who in any way compromise the security of the traveling public."

Anonymous said...

So ... let's see if I have this right.

An agent of the TSA - which routinely strips individual citizens of their dignity and privacy - gets caught overstepping even their way way distant line in the Constitutional sand, and We The People who pay his salary cannot know what "disciplinary action" he was subject to because it might negatively impact his privacy and dignity?

Is that close?

And if it is ... do you people hear yourselves?

Surely you can come up with a less hypocritical manner of explaining your impunity than this.

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

Melissa Smart said...

Someone stated that there was no mention that the individual was fired.. how could they keep their job! Obviously this was extremely unprofessional and an invasion of privacy. I believe TSA needs to go a step further to fix this issue and fire the individual!

Susan said...

Just saw this article posted on Fox News! I cannot believe TSA would not fire the individual. This is clearly an invasion of privacy.

At least the woman took it lightly and laughed about it and even posted it on twitter, but the fact of the mater is, its still a problem and if that happened to me I would feel violated.

Blogger Bob said...

*** Update 10/27/11: After working with our Office of Chief Counsel and Privacy Office, we have been cleared to say the following: TSA has completed its investigation of this matter, and has initiated action to remove the individual from federal service. Like all federal employees, this Transportation Security Officer is entitled to due process and the protections embodied in the Privacy Act. Pending the completion of the removal action, the employee will not perform any screening duties. ***

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Bob 2 said...

Bob,
Aren't bag and personal screenings being videotaped by the TSA for security purposes? If not, why not?

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
*** Update 10/27/11: After working with our Office of Chief Counsel and Privacy Office, we have been cleared to say the following: TSA has completed its investigation of this matter, and has initiated action to remove the individual from federal service. Like all federal employees, this Transportation Security Officer is entitled to due process and the protections embodied in the Privacy Act. Pending the completion of the removal action, the employee will not perform any screening duties. ***

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

October 27, 2011 3:49 PM
==========================

Why aren't mere citizens who travel afforded the same protections of the Privacy Act? TSA routinely collects personal information without any PA disclosures. TSA routinely takes peoples ID's with addresses and other sensitive information and photo copies those things with the traveler never knowing what is being done with or who has access to that information.

Why are TSA employees afforded more rights than just mere citizens?

TSA, a bad idea and even worse in practice!

Anonymous said...

The only time I am discouraged about the future of the United States is when I pass through a TSA checkpoint.

Big Brother is Watching said...

What proof do we have that this individual actually was removed from luggage scanning?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

So, does "removed from Federal service" actually mean FIRED?

Sounds like weasel words to me...

Adrian said...

Excellent commentary here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/10/27/tsa-is-firing-the-get-your-freak-on-girl-baggage-screener/

The problem is not that this one screener left an inappropriate note. Firing the screener does not solve the problem. The problem is that the new social norm is to have the government rummaging through our personal items in the name of security.

I also find it supremely ironic that the employee being disciplined enjoys privacy protection by the TSA while every one of us routinely has our privacy violated by the same organization.

Jim Huggins said...

I asked: "Fox News reported that a TSA spokesperson said that "there is no evidence to suggest one of its agents was behind the note". Clearly, there was plenty of evidence. Care to explain?"

Bob responded: "Jim, this was the statement given before the investigation was complete. At the time, there was no absolute indisputable evidence."

With respect, Bob: your explanation doesn't hold water. The evidence that TSA is now using to discipline the employee always existed. At the time of TSA's statement, perhaps TSA did not have the evidence, or had not verified the evidence. But for a TSA spokesperson to assert that there was no evidence was overreaching at best --- and misleading at worst.

The unnamed TSA spokesperson should have spoken more carefully and accurately, saying something like "We do not yet have definitive evidence, but are investigating further."

TSA employees and supporters frequently complain here about the words critics use to inaccurately describe current TSA policies and procedures. The same standard should apply to TSA spokespersons.

In short: words matter.

Anonymous said...

I have been wih the tsa for 8 years. I Take pride in my work and I'm tired of people who assume we're all inconsiderate perverts. We find things all the time that the public never hears about. Just because you don't hear about every loaded gun we find doesn't mean they aren't there. This individual was a moron and should be fired. The majority of us would never even consider doing something like that and I'm embarrassed to be associated with them.

Anonymous said...

This is the Federal government. NO ONE gets fired. Believe me, it ain't like private industry. Federal employees have all kinds of 'rights' that are unthinkable & unacceptable in private employment. The Federal Civil Service has a raft of policies & procedures that MUST be followed before an employee can be terminated. It can take MONTHS.
By the time this is over, this TSA agent will be promoted & will be supervising TSA screeners at an airport--perhaps the one nearest to YOU. Remember, TSA is now unionized. They want those union dues.

By the time this gets to a decision point, months will have passed & it will all be forgotten--that's how this works. Yesterday's news is no news.

Anonymous said...

Adrian's comment is right ON THE MONEY! The TSA's mission is to violate our persons and our privacy. TSA agents are supposedly authorized to rummage through ALL our personal effects as has NEVER been done in the history of the United States (but was COMMONLY done in the Soviet Union & East Germany).

The government can go on & on about all this security stuff, but what I just wrote is the absolute, fundamental truth of it. If you feel safer because of this, you are a fool.

Anonymous said...

My understanding of "removed from federal service" takes a firing one step farther -- it means this person can never work for a US federal agency ever again. This guy's joke just cost him both his career and any chance of working for the US Federal Government again. That is a bit overreaching for a harmless joke, isn't it?

Also, I have worked in positions that required me to fire employees. Assuming that this is the screener's first offense, I would not even consider firing this person for this offense. A week's suspension without pay and retraining, maybe. Firing and essentially blacklisting from other Federal agencies, no.

Anonymous said...

You know it's strange how when something happens, whether it's positive or negative, there is always a group that has to know RIGHT NOW, RIGHT NOW, RIGHT NOW! Everyone is entitled to due process. If you put yourself in their shoes, wouldn't you DEMAND IT as well????

Anonymous said...

I have been wih the tsa for 8 years. ...The majority of us would never even consider doing something like that
----------------------------------
The majority of us travelers would never even consider being a terrorists.

That however doesn't change how we are treated by the TSA

Anonymous said...

I have been wih the tsa for 8 years. ...The majority of us would never even consider doing something like that...
-----------------------------------

Would you work for an organization where some employees....?

1. Treated cancer survivors with disrespect
2. Stole cash out of carry-on luggage
3. Left inappropriate notes in luggage
4. Were accused of helping drug smuggling operations

The aforementioned are just a few of the incidents your colleagues have been accused. Instead of blaming average Americans for their attitudes toward the TSA, maybe you should look within your own ranks.

Anonymous said...

[[Everyone is entitled to due process.]]

Congratulations on being completely irrelevant.

"Due Process" only matters as regards the law. There are aspects of employment which are subject to law, but public information is not properly one of them.

Knowing who this yutz is and what has been done with him is nothing more or less informational than listing the names of those arrested for 'alleged' crimes in the newspaper. It has no bearing on Due Process.

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

johndburger said...

Clearly they intend to fire the jerk, they've initiated action to remove the individual from federal service.

Kudos to TSA for swift action, and complainers, this is in fact swift action.

Anonymous said...

"I have been wih the tsa for 8 years..."

It hasn't quite been 8 years with TSA for me...however, it is extremely frustrating to know the people you work beside everyday are capable of such behavior, and YES very embarrassing.

kimm said...

In another article I read, a TSA spox.said that “Like all federal employees, this individual is entitled to due process and protected by the Privacy Act...."

Where are my (and others) protections when I'm harassed, humiliated and made to feel like a criminal due to my medical reasons?

Anonymous said...

why wasn't the worker even named?? it's not as if they're a minor.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"The aforementioned are just a few of the incidents your colleagues have been accused. Instead of blaming average Americans for their attitudes toward the TSA, maybe you should look within your own ranks."

It isn't necessary to look at the look at the worst abuses to hate the TSA. Their normal operating practices are sufficient.

Robert said...

I have to agree all the other comments on this posting. Why wasn't the employee terminated immediately? It also sickens me to think that this same employee might eventually be running the body scanner or doing pat downs to people. Does this sound like someone you would want to complete these tasks? And at what point will he learn that sexual harassment is bad?

RB said...

There have been numerous TSA employees involved in all manner of crime these last few weeks.

I am wondering just where the heck JOHN S. PISTOLE is?

Why has the head of TSA gone silent?

Where is the TSA leadership?

Seems to me that TSA is just floating adrift!

Time to call in the Coast Guard and have this derelict sunk!

RB said...

It isn't necessary to look at the look at the worst abuses to hate the TSA. Their normal operating practices are sufficient.

October 28, 2011 1:53 PM

Right On

We need a Thumbs Up symbol!!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar incident happen to me on a flight back from Hartford, CT. I found an inappropriate adult magazine cut-out in my luggage that TSA had screened. Unlike this case, I didn't have anything like what this woman had in her suitcase. I wonder how often this is happening to people.

Anonymous said...

"After working with our Office of Chief Counsel and Privacy Office, we have been cleared to say the following: TSA has completed its investigation of this matter, and has initiated action to remove the individual from federal service. Like all federal employees, this Transportation Security Officer is entitled to due process and the protections embodied in the Privacy Act. Pending the completion of the removal action, the employee will not perform any screening duties."

Thanks.

Was that so difficult? Suffice it to say that your OCC and Privacy Office can easily provide guidelines like this for future use. Any release of information that doesn't release PII or could reasonably be expected to result in revealing PII is can be released without review.

RobertM said...

Let me also add that I love how many of these comments are posted by "Anonymous." In my mind, they're worthless and irrelevant. If you feel strongly enough about an issue, be big enough to put your name to it. Cowards!

Dave said...

I can't believe the outrage that has come about because of this. Have any of you had a slow day at work and done something funny and innocent with your coworkers to lighten the mood? Get over yourselves already, he wrote a note that if ANYONE other than a "TSA Person" would have wrote everyone would have died laughing.

Grow up

Red Eagle said...

I'm a little curious as I have no desire to fly, especially with the rash of pilots wanting to pack a pistol in hopes of firing it aboard a plane in mid-air, thinking a landing in the hudson river is a great landing. Just as a landing on the neighbor's house is a great landing. But my biggest question is WHEN and how where you forced to fly? I mean, the only place I can remember hearing of someone getting aboard a plane beyond their will was on the A-Team when BA would get drugged and forced upon the plane. In the mean time, you choose to follow their rules when you get aboard the plane! If you don't like it, don't fly. If everyone stops flying they'll eventually either change the rules, or all airlines will file bankruptcy and you'll find another way to travel....

Anonymous said...

120 comments to this post.

A guess a lot of people are unhappy about the behavior of TSA employees.

Anonymous said...

Firing is not enough. The man was trained and violated the rights of this woman to unreasonable search. TSA has the luggage xrayed and snifted. In lieu of probable cause no luggage should be opened and searched. Too many TSA people have been arrested for theft. And many people don't remember every thing they pack so a lot goes unreported. The remedy is not to open at random luggage that have no indication they have anything that is prohibited.
And what happened to those new identity detectors that use voice recognition software, eye retina and thumb print identification and the safe list that was supposed to be created to allow 99.9% of U.S. citizens to fly through screening. If India can do it, why can't the U.S. develop the program? We have the technology and supercomputers to do it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some young hot shot who has been emboldened by the number of complaints against TSA employees and have not been acted upon and the lack of action against TSA employees for deliberately stealing and harassing people. He must have thought he could do this illegal act and be protected by the TSA. Something similar to the NYC police ticket fixing problem. Cops are notorious for not giving themselves of members of cop families tickets.

8675309 said...

Anonymous said...

"So, does "removed from Federal service" actually mean FIRED?

Sounds like weasel words to me..."

Actually its worse than getting fired. If you were fired from McDonalds you might be able to get a job at Burger King. Or maybe even at another McDonalds somehwere down the road. But if you are removed from federal service, you are banned from ALL federal jobs FOR LIFE.

Bryan said...

Wow. "Removed from all federal jobs for life." That's pretty doggone intense for a moment of (although wildly inappropriate) indescretion.

Anonymous said...

I have just recently began to read this blog and find it very disturbing to say the least. I am a female TSA officer and take great pride in the job I do. I do not however believe I have the right to offend, belittle, or invade any passengers civil rights in order to peform my duties. It isnt necessary. I can complete my duties without inflicting any offences.I wish that before someone writes such things that they would empower themselves with knowledge first. It seems that most of the entries posted are bland and blanketed to apply to most if not all situations. There is not one band-aid to heal all of this. There are specific reasons that certain restrictions and actions are required of our traveling population which are no secret to the public. You simply have to research these issues and you will be better able to understand.The uneducated blasted opinions do nothing but form a "linch-mob" mentality that makes it even more difficult for the officer's that are dedicated for all the right reasons to do there job.I am sorry for the behavior of the TSO concerning the young lady and the note left in her bag however the action of one officer does not define all of us nor our intentions.I take great offence to those that call our agency "useless". I dont feel useless and would never say this to anyone,it is degrading in itself but you are intitled to your opinion.I dont go to work to make friends thats not my job. My job is to do my very best to keep our traveling public safe and that is where my focus is and will always be.If this offends you I am sorry but I wont appoligize for doing my job. With any mass restriction comes conflict and confusion, its expected but if we dont try to apply some simple human understanding it will just get worse.The sad part is this is reality, this is the world we live in and we need to come to terms with it and until it changes we will have to adapt to it.It is so very easy to stand back and throw stones at others as so many have on this blog and Im sure I'll get hit with a few as well but I worked hard to secure my position with TSA, I take my job seriously and hold myself to a higher standard and that is what matters to me. This is not my first rodeo, I to have worked in law enforcement, corrections as some of your posts state and because of this I have a greater understanding of why there is a need to apply rules and restrictions to ensure the saftey of others and it confuses me as to why x-law enforcement would fail to understand this need?? We need to remember that the opportunity to travel via the airlines is a priviledge and not a right. you have other options open to you that will reduce the amount of "grooping and invasion" you are subjected too! Please, keep this in mind before planning your trips and remember we are all humans doing our very best to live up to the high expectations that are expected from us at TSA, accountability is EVERYTHING in our job description, unfortunately we are also subject to human error as are all of you but one thing in your advantage is your not being judged in the public eye...how well would you fare if we could all pass judgement on your peformance constantly?? I wish this for no one...it can be rough at times so if we seem to be a little thick skined..forgive us.. its a natural reaction to forums like this...
Thanks for reading..Take care & Stay SAFE!!!

Amy Grindhouse said...

It's good that action was taken, but re-training would have satiated the frothing masses also. The punishment doesn't necessarily feel like it fits the crime, IMO.

Chris said...

Was the employee fired or not?
This kind of behaviour should not be tolerated..

Robert Notmyrealname said...

Anonymous RobertM said...

Let me also add that I love how many of these comments are posted by "Anonymous." In my mind, they're worthless and irrelevant. If you feel strongly enough about an issue, be big enough to put your name to it. Cowards

----------------------------------

"RobertM", is your last name really just "M"?

Why didn't you use your full name?

Anonymous said...

ANON SAID Note there is no statement that the individual was fired.
*******************

ummm reread that post then because "removed from federal service"

.........MEANS FIRED

Anonymous said...

Red Eagle said...
"But my biggest question is WHEN and how where you forced to fly?"

Many people are required to fly as part of their jobs. Their only option to not fly is to be become unemployed. Not a very good choice.

Anonymous said...

Dave said...
"I can't believe the outrage that has come about because of this. Have any of you had a slow day at work and done something funny and innocent with your coworkers to lighten the mood?"

I don't know where you work, but where I work this would get you fired.

Anonymous said...

Adrian said:

The problem is not that this one screener left an inappropriate note. Firing the screener does not solve the problem. The problem is that the new social norm is to have the government rummaging through our personal items in the name of security.

Yes. Since the TSA is unfortunately not going away until the debt super committee figure out how useless they are, we're stuck with them. The real problem is that the TSA baggage rummaging operation has no physical way of prevent said rummager removing or adding anything into the luggage that they are rummaging through. There is also no established PHYSICAL way for them to prevent adding or removing entire BAGS from the luggage stream.

Anonymous said...

What is exactly the evidence against the employee? A twitter post? Seriously?

Adrian said...

>We need to remember that the opportunity to travel via the airlines is a priviledge and not a right.

Forgive me, but where does this crazy notion come from? I have the right to contract for carriage with any private company regardless of whether they transport me by air, rail, taxi, bus, or teleportation device. I should not need permission from my government to enter into such a contract. It's none of the government's business.

Besides, the TSA is reposponsible for travel by all means. They'll eventually move on to trains. When they do, they'll point out that the policies are very similar to what we've already been subjected to for air travel. I guess, then we'll say traveling by train is a privilege, not a right. And then buses, and then we'll be required to have transponders in our cars so that our movements can be checked against the watchlists. Where does it end? Do we have any inherent right to travel? Or is all travel a privilege?

>you have other options open to you that will reduce the amount of "grooping and invasion" you are subjected too!Please, keep this in mind before planning your trips

Sorry, the government does not have the right to make me choose between invasive searches or convenience.

> and remember we are all humans doing our very best to live up to the high expectations that are expected from us at TSA, accountability is EVERYTHING in our job description, unfortunately we are also subject to human error as are all of you but one thing in your advantage is your not being judged in the public eye...how well would you fare if we could all pass judgement on your peformance constantly?? I wish this for no one...it can be rough at times so if we seem to be a little thick skined..forgive us.. its a natural reaction to forums like this...

I feel for the well-intentioned TSOs. I really do. I support dosimeters for all TSOs. I'm always respectful at the checkpoint, even as I'm compelled to comply with inefficient, ineffective, and dangerous rules.

But I also have respect for the Bill of Rights, and I value the liberties we had that made us different from the oppressive governments we used to mock ("papers please, comrade"). So when TSO misconduct presents an opportunity to highlight the TSA's horrible policies, I feel no remorse exploiting it to advocate for change.

>Thanks for reading..Take care & Stay SAFE!!!

Ditto.

Jim Huggins said...

Bryan writes: Wow. "Removed from all federal jobs for life." That's pretty doggone intense for a moment of (although wildly inappropriate) indescretion.

As opposed to the passengers every day who are arrested for bringing a loaded firearm to a checkpoint in a "moment of indiscretion"?

TSA says that "we are a people of integrity who respect and care for others", and "we are a people who conduct ourselves in an honest, trustworthy and ethical manner at all times". Those who fail to meet that standard should be disciplined.

---

An anonymous TSO writes: I am sorry for the behavior of the TSO concerning the young lady and the note left in her bag however the action of one officer does not define all of us nor our intentions.

Actually ... the actions of that TSO does act to define all TSOs in the eyes of many. It does so unfairly, to be sure. But the length of your response, and the passion you used in making it, show that you are aware of that unfair definition. All the more reason why TSOs should hold each other accountable to TSA's high standard of conduct, so that these sorts of events never occur.

Anonymous said...

This is too silly to even be a complaint. Get real. No one should be fired over this and it should not even be an issue.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I have just recently began to read this blog and find it very disturbing to say the least. I am a female TSA officer and take great pride in the job I do. I do not however believe I have the right to offend, belittle, or invade any passengers civil rights in order to peform my duties."

Sorry, but many people find your duties to be a major invasion of our civil rights. It doesn't matter how carefully you stay within the rules - the rules themselves are offensive.

We also don't believe your actions result in any improvement in our safety. Keeping terrorists off airplanes doesn't reduce the number of terrorists or the number of terrorist attacks. It just moves them to a different location. My chances of being killed by a terrorist are exactly the same with or without the TSA.

Anonymous said...

"Dave said...

I can't believe the outrage that has come about because of this. Have any of you had a slow day at work and done something funny and innocent with your coworkers to lighten the mood? Get over yourselves already, he wrote a note that if ANYONE other than a "TSA Person" would have wrote everyone would have died laughing.

Grow up

October 28, 2011 4:53 PM"

Dear Dave:

Something "funny and innocent with your co-workers to lighten the mood" may be reasonable, provided it was a) funny and innocent; b) with your co-workers and c.) to lighten the mood might be appropriate under some circumstances.

It is NEVER appropriate when used with a patron, customer, client, visitor. I assure you that a client treated with any disrespect in my office by any of my employees or contractors will not be tolerated and that employee or contractor will be immediately separated/fired/removed from service and will no longer receive a paycheck from that day forward.

Furthermore, it is NEVER appropriate for any agent of the United States to tamper with luggage, snoop around for things not directly pertinent to his/her charge, and many if not all non-government employees do not wish the government to snoop into their private and personal affairs.

This is why the Constitution limits federal powers and contains a Bill of Rights, as its first Ten Amendments: to insure that both we the People and the Government understood the meaning of the rest of the Constitution. It appears that the TSA is not overly literate in these matters.

Further, Blogger Bog says we can just file a "talk to TSA complaint" and all will be well. Really! Perhaps if you file a TSA complaint and blog it and it goes internet viral, then perhaps the TSA might just do something about an incident too publicly embarrassing to dismiss off handedly.

And by using "anonymous" it makes it more difficult for a random person to send me spam, although on the internet, unless you are truly creative, no one is "anonymous" as most, if not all connections can be traced to their origination.

Anonymous said...

I dont agree...it may tarnish our agency and fellow officers but it in no way defines who we are and what we stand for..we are not all there simply for a pay check..some of us are there for much deeper reasons..its hard to comprehend why this is soo unbelieveable.. We could of easily found employment where being hated by the general public was not a part of out job discription...

Anonymous said...

My question to the anonymous baggage screener, or as they call themselves "officers": do you report other baggage screeners that you see violating rules and the civil rights of citizens?

If not, you are part of the problem.

Wintermute said...

To the anonymous female TSA agent - I'm sorry. It's not that I'm lumping all TSA agents in with this one. It's more that you VOLUNTARILY work for an organization that violates the constitutional rights of my fellow citizens AS ITS CHARTER. If you don't like being compared to this idiot, how to you feel working for an organization that violates everthing the US stands for?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"This is too silly to even be a complaint. Get real. No one should be fired over this and it should not even be an issue."

Are you kidding? No real business will ever allow it's employees to harass customers. That will get you into trouble faster than almost anything else.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"We need to remember that the opportunity to travel via the airlines is a priviledge and not a right."

Wrong. Traveling by airline is a business transaction between me and the airline. I pay money and they transport me. It violates no laws. There is no valid reason for the government in interfere with this. I have a right to do anything that is not specifically illegal.

One of the biggest ideas in the creation of the American government was that the people need to be protected from the government. The TSA shows why this idea is still very valid.

Adrian said...

What's with the moderation here? I posted a three-part response to one of the TSO comments over the weekend, and only the third was published. The first two parts were completely within the rules of the Comment Policy.

Anonymous said...

Hello all. Does TSA do any other type of screening of potential employees besides background/criminal checks? Perhaps a mental health exam or psych eval would be appropriate? I think this would go a long way to screen out persons who would use their position with TSA to intimidate or harass people.

Thanks,
A concerned citizen

Anonymous said...

Hello all. Does TSA do any other type of screening of potential employees besides background/criminal checks? Perhaps a mental health exam or psych eval would be appropriate? I think this would go a long way to screen out persons who would use their position with TSA to intimidate or harass people.

Thanks,
A concerned citizen

Anonymous said...

Jim Huggins said:
"As opposed to the passengers every day who are arrested for bringing a loaded firearm to a checkpoint in a "moment of indiscretion"?"

im sure that you are aware that the tsa has no arresting powers. they find the weapon and call the port authority or acting leo agency. they take over from there as to the course of action to take based on their investigation. its funny that the every day part of your statement has no impact on you. it truly shows how wrong and perhaps stupid people are, the fact that every day people are coming to an airport with weapons that are prohibited in most puplic places depending on your state/city. it has nothing to do wirh the tsa. im sure that you also realize that the leo agency runs a background check on the individual that brings the weapon and its possible that the reason that they are being arrested isnt for the weapon at all. it could be for an outstanding warrant. however, the tsa doesnt include this info. to assume that all people that are bringing weapons through a tsa area are in a "moment of indiscretion" is truly hilarious.

Fort Lauderdale Plumber said...

I see all the comments about firing the individual but I am sure the lesson was learned and firing would have been too much. Yes, it was s very stupid thing to do, but it doesn't rise to the level of ruining someone's life.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I have just recently began to read this blog and find it very disturbing to say the least. I am a female TSA officer and take great pride in the job I do. I do not however believe I have the right to offend, belittle, or invade any passengers civil rights in order to peform my duties. It isnt necessary. I can complete my duties without inflicting any offences.
.....................

Sorry but if you don't think TSA screening is not offensive and belittling then you're not facing reality.

TSA screeners run run their hands up our legs until they meet resistance. Just what do you think that resistance is that your hands are touching?

TSA was a bad idea and is much worse in practice.

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous writes: to assume that all people that are bringing weapons through a tsa area are in a "moment of indiscretion" is truly hilarious.

Just as it's hilarious to assume that the person who wrote this note was guilty of only a "moment of indiscretion" and shouldn't have been fired --- which was my original point.

Anonymous said...

"We could of easily found employment where being hated by the general public was not a part of out job discription..."

Perhaps, but the qualifications required to be a TSO are likely not going to land you a job with the pay and benefits that you'll have with the TSA.

Anonymous said...

"We need to remember that the opportunity to travel via the airlines is a priviledge and not a right."

Would you care to substantiate this comment? Under what circumstances can the "privilege" be revoked? Can it be revoked based on the ethnicity of the traveler, for instance? How about the sex or race of the traveler?

You are absolutely mistaken that airline travel is a privilege. Government, least of all the TSA, is not in the business of conferring privileges on US citizens.

Please add the "airline travel is a privilege" to the "no knives were allowed past checkpoints prior to 9/11" argument that is so frequently repeated here by TSOs. Both are absolutely false and further erode the credibility of those who repeat them.

Anonymous said...

To what position was this employeed promoted?

Anonymous said...

How about firing any remaining TSA employees who continue to lie to and harass people with cameras?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nelvxdw1CO8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SXaI4Twm_A

Anonymous said...

This is an example of discrimination and favoritism.

TSA has fired many employees for varies reasons, some as simple as leaving a few minutes too early with permission, ect....

Anonymous said...

I don't care much for the TSA.

I dislike loud, ignorant mobs even less.

Yes, what this TSA officer did was wrong. Yes, the TSA, as usual, tried to deny any responsibility.

But there have been so many worse things TSA officers have done to people. So many lies so many officers have told. So much ignorance of policies by TSA officers. Things that have caused much more problems for passengers. Those officers still have their jobs.

The victim of this prank does not want the officer fired.

This foolish officer is being thrown under the bus to appease a blood thirsty mob.

I want to see real reform. Not more victims.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"we are not all there simply for a pay check..some of us are there for much deeper reasons..its hard to comprehend why this is soo unbelieveable."

It's hard to believe because we don't understand how anyone could believe that what the TSA is doing is actually beneficial. The TSA isn't stopping terrorists, it's just harassing American citizens.

If you believe you are keeping people safe you are wrong. The only thing the TSA is protecting is the physical airplanes. Any reduction in risk to the passengers while flying is matched by an increased risk when not flying. The TSA isn't stopping terrorists, just getting them to go somewhere else.

I have yet to see anyone from the TSA refute this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: We could of easily found employment where being hated by the general public was not a part of out job discription...

Prove it. Get a real job that doesn't involve groping people or lying to them about the reasons you're doing it.

Anonymous said...

"How about firing any remaining TSA employees who continue to lie to and harass people with cameras? "

Between this, improper treatment of people with disabilities and TSOs not being familiar with identification requirements such as NEXUS cards, what is the problem with TSA training?

Civil rights litigation is needed.

Anonymous said...

"By using Talk to TSA, your complaint will be sent directly to the TSA Customer Support Manager at the same airport the incident occurred. "

...and promptly ignored.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to lighten up! It was just a note which showed a sense of humor. No harm was done and the punishment does not fit the so called "crime" Everyone is aware that there luggage can be searched and personal items will be seen. I am much more concerned about unsafe items. Seriously folks there are important things to be outraged over - try hunger or child abuse!

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous writes: Everyone needs to lighten up! It was just a note which showed a sense of humor.

No, it was a display of immature, adolescent behavior. We expect more from those we trust to open and examine our bags.

And for those who claim "it was just a joke", I'll note that TSOs at checkpoints have absolutely no sense of humor when a passenger makes a joke about a weapon or a bomb. If passengers shouldn't tell jokes, then neither should TSOs.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Everyone needs to lighten up! It was just a note which showed a sense of humor. No harm was done and the punishment does not fit the so called "crime" Everyone is aware that there luggage can be searched and personal items will be seen. I am much more concerned about unsafe items. Seriously folks there are important things to be outraged over - try hunger or child abuse!"

Who gets to decide which notes are OK and which notes are not? The easiest policy to follow is to not allow notes. Rather like the policy the TSA uses for passengers - no flexibility at all.

Talk to anyone who runs a customer-service type business and I think you will find that they have a very low tolerance for harassing the customers.

SciMjr2 said...

Why is ANYONE defending this horrible T.S.A. employee? For ONCE the T.S.A. actually did the RIGHT thing and fired him!

These guys are supposed to be looking for explosives and NOT simply looking through people's personal items and writing cute little notes for their own sick and disgusting amusement!

T.S.A. has screwed up MAJORLY in the past but THIS ONE TIME they got it right!

Anonymous said...

This has got to be the first time I actually side with the TSA. If the woman put "personal items" in her bag to be seen by the TSO's on inspection then it isn't that big a deal. "Get your freak on" is part of Pop-Culture and really isn't lewd or anything.

It is just a young person who is making a note letting the passenger know he or she noticed the personal items.

Probably should have just drawn a smiley face with an eye winking. Like ;-)

Anonymous said...

Would you work for an organization where some employees....?

1.Treated cancer survivors with disrespect
2. Stole cash out of carry-on luggage
3. Left inappropriate notes in luggage
4. Were accused of helping drug smuggling operations

The aforementioned are just a few of the incidents your colleagues have been accused.

***********************************

Ummmm....like the NYPD/LAPD/CBP and other local state and federal government agencies. There seems to be corruption at all levels. So, where is the outrage when a police officer is allowed to steal from, kill and/or assault a citizen?

I don't believe all police officers evil, just like I don't believe all TSA Agents are disrespectful thieves.

Julie said...

Cmon, its not that big of a deal. I remember a time in this country when that sort of thing was tolerated, both by us citizens and the powers that be. I think that lady just wanted some attention, at least since she made it so public.

Anonymous said...

As we have found out, time and time, that the problem is training from above. TSA needs what customs has. A training program that you attend when you get hired to weed out people who wont follow a code of conduct.

Anonymous said...

is my beanie genuine? how will i know?