TSA Orders More Security Training For Airport Screeners
Airport screeners are being trained to help them think creatively about possible security threats that might not be apparent on first glance, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
“We have to prepare for attacks that don’t fit our procedures,” says Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator Kip Hawley.
Hawley told the AP that the screeners will still be vigilant for obvious threats, but they also want to look for more offbeat threats.
Part of the preparation is a new 12-hour training course that all 43,000 screeners across the country will go through. Currently, screeners get four hours of retraining each week. But this new course includes briefings from field intelligence officials who will discuss the latest threats and trends.
Screeners will also learn about new explosive devices and will be shown how the devices appear on the screen of an X-ray machine, as well as what they look like up close.
The third part of the training includes instructions on how to deal with passengers in a way that creates a calm environment. There will be no more screaming across checkpoint isles, and screeners will get tips on how not to be baited by an angry passenger.
The result will be a calmer checkpoint experience, TSA says. And calm travelers will make those with hostile intentions stand out, says TSA spokesman Christopher White.
In addition, screeners will get redesigned uniforms and police-style metal badges.
Hawley says this new training will help screeners catch potential terrorists who may be conducting dry runs through airports.
“We have to assume that that is occurring,” Hawley says. “Our job is to pick up on the clue.”
Screeners at Baltimore Washington International Airport will be the first to undergo the new training.