TSA fur­ther en­sures safety and se­cu­rity of em­ploy­ees and trav­ellers

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY -

The Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TSA) of United States of Amer­ica has re­leased a re­port, which con­cludes a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of poli­cies, pro­ce­dures and op­er­a­tions fol­low­ing the Novem­ber 1, 2013, in­ci­dent at Los Angeles In­ter­na­tional Air­port (LAX), which took the life of TSA Of­fi­cer Ger­ardo I. Her­nan­dez and in­jured two other of­fi­cers and a trav­eller.

Since the in­ci­dent, TSA has taken ex­ten­sive steps to en­hance the safety and se­cu­rity of its em­ploy­ees at air­ports na­tion­wide, in­creas­ing pro­tec­tion for TSA em­ploy­ees and the trav­el­ling pub­lic. The re­cent an­nounce­ment builds on the steps al­ready taken to pro­tect the na­tion’s trans­porta­tion net­work and those re­spon­si­ble for its en­force­ment.

“Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent at LAX last year, which shocked and sad­dened us all, I or­dered a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of poli­cies and pro­ce­dures at LAX and air­ports across the coun­try,” said TSA Ad­min­is­tra­tor John S. Pis­tole. “The re­port re­leased out­lines the ac­tions TSA took im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the shoot­ing and new pro­ce­dures to en­hance the safety and se­cu­rity of TSA em­ploy­ees na­tion­wide, es­pe­cially those who work on the front­lines each and ev­ery day to pro­tect the trav­el­ling pub­lic.”

The re­port re­leased takes into ac­count the re­sults of both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal work­ing groups, re­flect­ing ex­ten­sive feed­back and par­tic­i­pa­tion by TSA em­ploy­ees, in­dus­try stake­hold­ers, law en­force­ment, air­port oper­a­tors, the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Govern­ment Em­ploy­ees, and var­i­ous travel-re­lated as­so­ci­a­tions, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the TSA Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee.

“We sought the in­put of all TSA em­ploy­ees through a va­ri­ety of mech­a­nisms such as town hall meet­ings and the on­line Idea Fac­tory. Ideas were sub­mit­ted from all lev­els of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, to in­clude our front­line of­fi­cers and Federal Se­cu­rity Di­rec­tors,” said Pis­tole. “Many of these ideas were en­dorsed and in­cor­po­rated into our ac­tion plan. We con­tinue to wel­come stake­holder and work­force feed­back to im­prove safety and se­cu­rity at air­ports na­tion­wide.”

Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the shoot­ing, TSA in­creased the vis­i­bil­ity of uni­formed of­fi­cers by en­sur­ing that state and lo­cal air­port law en­force­ment agencies in­creased de­ploy­ment of uni­formed of­fi­cers in and around se­cu­rity check­points. This ac­tion in­cluded re­de­ploy­ing cer­tain TSA Vis­i­ble In­ter­modal Preven­tion and Re­sponse (VIPR) teams to the avi­a­tion sec­tor. The agency also pro­vided grief coun­selling to em­ploy­ees with on­go­ing fol­low up.

Since the shoot­ing, the agency has im­ple­mented sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant ac­tions fo­cused on im­prov­ing of­fi­cer safety and se­cu­rity. These ac­tions in­clude: (1) man­dat­ing ac­tive shooter train­ing and ex­er­cises for TSA em­ploy­ees and re­quir­ing bian­nual evac­u­a­tion drills; (2) ac­quir­ing additional duress alarms to close ex­ist­ing gaps; (3) en­sur­ing that all air­ports have ex­plicit max­i­mum re­sponse times; and (4) con­tin­u­ing to have an in­creased VIPR team pres­ence at air­ports.

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