In the light of multiple accusations of less than professional behaviour by TSA staff, some airports have, or are planning to, hire private companies to provide security.
Lets recap some highlights from TSA staff. Here are a short list in Portland Press Herald.
“As we enter some of the heaviest traveling days of the year, we ponder the disruption of the TSA's overreaching examinations. We will be concerned with the reports of children, standing in terror, being groped by TSA agents as their parents watch helplessly. We will be horrified at the indignity of one cancer survivor having to show her breast prosthesis to a guard. Anger will flow as they read that another cancer survivor found himself covered in urine thanks to an overzealous TSA search.”
Furthermore I have some direct and painful experience with over-keen staff as I detailed over at Pajamas Media.
“As I was asked to move aside, a TSA woman said to me: “Do you know you look like Ron Jeremy (the porn star)? I guess you get that a lot.” They took me aside and did the pat-down, feeling all over my body as is their habit. Then the TSA officer proceeded to feel my stomach as if I were a pregnant woman. He explained that I had a hard patch on my stomach and they wanted to check it and make sure it was all me. It was painful and disturbing.
No doubt in response to union complaints that private contractors were doing TSA “work”, the agency has banned the practice of outsourcing. Hans Bader takes a look the move over at the examiner.com.
“The TSA shut the door Friday on a private airport screening program that was making the inefficient agency look bad by outperforming it in safety, innovation, and passenger satisfaction. The TSA’s action was praised by a liberal union in Washington that expects to unionize the TSA, the American Federation of Government Employees. Its head, John Gage, applauded the Obama Administration for requiring a “federalized” government “work force.”
Unfortunately the TSA are getting cover from their political friends in DC. CNN quotes the following bit of weasel wording.
“On Friday, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, lauded Pistole's decision. "Ending the acceptance of new applications for the program makes sense from a budgetary and counter-terrorism perspective," he said in a statement.”
Hard pressed, or is that squeezed, travellers will take a dim view of this latest development.