Security Leadership and Management / Ports: Sea, Land, & Air

Lawmakers Threaten to Privatize the TSA

Members of a House panel threatened to privatize more airport screening unless the Transportation Security Administration improves its treatment of travelers.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said he plans legislation "one way or the other" to privatize all federal screeners within two years. He would leave TSA in charge of gathering intelligence, setting standards and running audits, said USA Today.

Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia said it was inexcusable for TSA screeners to bark 20 orders at him and other travelers during his last trip over the weekend – back up, put your hands up, take your shoes off – without saying please. He urged the agency to become more polite or risk legislation, said USA Today.

"When we mistreat them by barking orders at them as if they are cattle, not people, we actually diminish spirit of cooperation," Connolly said. "I've had it, and I think a lot of the public has had it. There is no excuse for it."

Kelly Hoggan, TSA's assistant administrator for security operations, said that new hires receive 80 hours of training, followed by on-the-job training of 40 hours, plus more training for specific equipment, said USA Today. In addition, the agency provides integrity and leadership training for supervisors, Hoggan said.

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