An article in today’s edition of USA Today discloses air marshals at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International irport, and at most of the major airports around the country, are routinely escorted through the exit isles at the security checkpoints. As the article points out, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the individuals taking the shortcut are air marshals or other law enforcement. So much for secrecy and being undercover.
When the obviousness of this procedure was pointed out to the TSA, they had no comment. However, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association is apparently aware of this breakdown in security and has been lobbying to have the procedure changed. Not only does the current procedure compromise security, it also potentially places the exposed marshals and officers at risk.
The article goes on to state that TSA screeners have been observed taking shortcuts in baggage screening when the baggage volume is heavy to avoid having to run every bag through the explosive detection system. Just goes to show that we can have all of the expensive equipment and technology installed at the airports, but if the TSA has lazy or incompetent people working for it, we are probably no better off than we were before the equipment was installed. Security is in large part attitude. And the TSA obviously does not have the right attitude.