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TSA pushes nationwide changes to airport security

Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson Tours TSA Security Operation At LAX

The Transportation Security Administration released a 25-page report to Congress on Wednesday that includes 14 recommendations to improve airport security after a nationwide review prompted by last year's fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities say a gunman targeted TSA officers in his attack, which resulted in the agency's first line-of-duty death. Two other officers and a passenger were wounded.

Some of TSA's recommendations:

-Require armed law enforcement officers at security checkpoints and ticket counters during peak hours.

-Make active shooter training and exercises for TSA officers mandatory; airports should also conduct twice yearly active shooter training and exercises.

-TSA supervisors should mention emergency procedures to staff at the beginning of each shift and have evacuation drills twice a year.

-Provide automatic notification to federal air marshals when there's an active shooter; most were notified by phone about the LAX shooting.

-Require weekly testing of panic alarms at airports, add more alarms if necessary, and have the alarms link to security cameras.

-Ensure all TSA wireless devices are programmed with the local airport's emergency numbers. AP reported that 911 calls at LAX on Nov. 1 weren't routed to the airport police.

-Extend deployment of special teams of air marshals, baggage inspectors and others who conduct random security sweeps.

-Require airport security plans to state how long it should take police to get to a security checkpoint when an officer isn't stationed there. The review discovered that 71 airports without officers stationed at checkpoints didn't state a required maximum response time.

TSA considered and dismissed several other changes, including creating an armed unit of TSA officers, allowing them to carry personal cellphones on their belts, issuing bulletproof vests, and assigning federal air marshals to checkpoints at major airports.

The agency also has decided not to pursue installing ballistic protection for the stands where officers check travelers' documents, or putting Kevlar panels, shatterproof glass, ballistic blankets or clear body shields at checkpoints. It also found that adding deafening alarms or strobe lights would incapacitate responders as well as any attacker.

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Big Jim March 26 2014 at 7:45 PM

There is already the airport police. Do we need more guns in the hands of people that are going to be busy doing other activities. Seems like their focus may be removed from what their real purpose is. Arming the TSA doesn't seem like a responsible call to me. I'm in favor of the 2nd ammendment , but I see this more as a Safety issue concerning everyone. Not just TSA's safety.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
nkpcar March 27 2014 at 12:45 AM

Interesting what a human life is worth.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Ripper nkpcar March 27 2014 at 4:19 AM

*coughs* Not a stinking dime my friend anymore *coughs* not a plug nickel in this society today!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
fmuddywaters March 27 2014 at 5:33 AM

Anybody that does not carry, is a target, plain and simple.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
irizzo01 March 27 2014 at 4:06 AM

The next step for TSA employees is Peace Officer Status. When taht happens the problems will just begin.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
lunarstruck March 27 2014 at 12:22 AM

I'm far more afraid of TSA agents with guns than I am of terrorists.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
twosharks March 26 2014 at 7:34 PM

These idiots are arrested for various crimes every few days, there is no way they should be armed.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
brendayrfriend March 26 2014 at 11:43 PM

i think any extra security is to be voted in . i myself am very uncompforatable flying anymore

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Mike March 26 2014 at 7:17 PM

#1. Abolish the TSA.
#2. ...all good.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
bwess8 Mike March 26 2014 at 11:36 PM

# 3 Plane crashing into building with mike on it.
# 4 Attack country that had nothing to do with it. ( PRICELESS )

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Bob bwess8 March 27 2014 at 4:28 AM

Thnk God you only have a keyboard. The fact that there's not a brain to go with it is optional. Howver, in your case it appears standard equipment.

Flag +2 rate up
rmpblue March 27 2014 at 5:33 AM

How about we just shutter the worthless and wasteful agency!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Ripper March 27 2014 at 4:16 AM

Just what we need!?!? To give these T.S.A. egomaniacs more power to act like idiots and pretend they are something they are not, like actually being real security. I am so glad I haven't flown anywhere in years. Because I wouldn't tolerate all their bulls**t at the airports and tell them right where to shove their supposed illusion of security. Yeah I am sure I would get in some trouble with these douchebags. But it would be worth it just to tell these idiots how much of a joke they are today and see the dumb a** look on their faces when I do.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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