Not broken in the sense that there are issues everyday thankfully but broken in the sense that we don’t feel fundamentally safer when we fly because of it.
In parallel our Veterans, our heroes, the ones who sacrifice their lives for the safety of our country are coming back from war to a country that is not providing them with respectable options for employment (let alone the respect they deserve for the sacrifices they have made). This is unacceptable, no matter how you cut it, and we as a country need to get our priorities in line to make sure we fix this situation and fix it fast.
We won’t be able to fix this overnight. But I have an idea on how we might be able to start and I think you might agree.
The TSA is broken. The people employed at the checkpoints at the airport do very little to instill a greater sense of security in the American flying public. Whether it’s the apathy they have towards the job, the way they treat the passengers, the disinterest in viewing the monitors when they are supposed to be viewing the monitors, the focus on selecting people for screening that appear to at face value to have very little interest in committing a terrorist act, or any number of other things you have noticed while in the airport I think we can agree that the system is not providing the sense of security that it could.
Now, I acknowledge the generalizations here and I apologize in advance for those, especially because the purpose of this theory is not to put down the people currently in those positions but rather to propose a new way of thinking that might improve the system. I am simply speaking of what I have observed and perceived and the fact that I think you may have noticed something similar.
The people currently employed in these positions have never struck me as those that have extensive training in law enforcement or counter-terrorism. Granted I have not conducted extensive interviews with those currently employed in these positions but my perception is that the security lines at the airport more closely resemble the trafficking of the line at McDonald’s than they do the rigor of inspection of say the NYPD at the Holland Tunnel during a heightened threat of terrorist activity. Now that may be the fault of the system and not the employee but it is what it is. The underlying perception remains that those currently employed by the TSA at the security checkpoints do not appear at first glance to have the extensive and specific training required to instill a greater sense of safety in the people who are flying.
But there is a group of people that are highly trained for this, that do have extensive experience in doing this in high-risk situations, and who are looking for jobs as we speak.
For the past 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan countless American troops have been stationed at security checkpoints throughout the most dangerous war zones in the world. On a daily basis they have been tasked with discerning the difference between innocent civilians and dangerous terrorists. Where the difference between right and wrong isn’t the life of someone they just saw for two minutes but rather the difference between their survival and their comrades survival. I think it’s safe to say that this heightened sense of awareness, operating under these extreme circumstances, provides these individuals with an exponentially greater sense of the perception of danger than the average citizen. They have numerous hours of training not just in the classroom but also on the job in real world environments.
Ask someone who has traveled through an Israeli airport and ask them who checks/interrogates them at the security checkpoints. Then ask them how much better they felt about the quality of that process and screening. Why do you think that is? Because the people (read: soldiers) that are conducting the security check are highly trained experts who specialize in identifying the difference between innocent civilians and threats to society.
The TSA is broken.
Our Veterans cannot find jobs.
The people currently employed by the TSA are not providing us with the sense of security we would like to have while at the airport.
The soldiers coming back from war that are looking for work are highly trained experts who have extensive experience in managing high pressure environments at security checkpoints in warzones under extreme circumstances.
So can someone please tell me why we are not actively recruiting our Veterans to oversee our security checkpoints and work at the TSA?