Airport International News - August 2012
Airport Security Agents to Undergo Further Training
Posted by Victoria Knowles - Airport International Reporter on 21/08/2012 - 06:25:00
Security agents at Logan International Airport will undergo further training after allegations of racial profiling to discern terrorists last week.
All Transport Security Agents and managers in Boston and the Detroit Matropolitan Wayne County Airport, where the behaviour detection programs are implemented will be required to attend a 4-hour training session, which involves discussion on the ineffectiveness and inappropriateness of racial profiling as a security measure.
It will also involve small group activities to practice detection of abnormal behaviour over race and ethnicity identification.
Airport Security Agents Training
Over 30 internal complaints were made by TSA agents in Boston about colleagues, who were seeking minorities with drugs, immigration issues or outstanding warrants. A disproportionate number of Hispanics and blacks had been stopped and questioned. The TSA is investigating the allegations.
The training will highlight that the purpose of the behaviour detection program is to identify terrorists, not other criminal behaviour. Homeland Security Department said that although the behaviour detection program was an imperative security tool, discrimination would not be tolerated.
"Profiling is not only discriminatory, it is also an ineffective way to identify someone intent on doing harm. Officers are trained and audited to look for observable behaviors, and behaviors alone."
Officers at over 100 airports will be required to take an online refresher course, reinforcing the zero-tolerance to racial profiling.
David Mackey, interim chief executive of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, said in a statement: "We acknowledge the TSA's swift response and will continue to work with them to ensure security at Logan is legal, effective, and does not use racial profiling."
Logan became the first airport to implement the behaviour detection program back in 2003, and it is now used in 161 airports. The program assesses risk based on passengers' responses to questions, body language and appearance.
In 2011, Logan was also the first to enhance these securities, by carrying out checkpoint questions on all travellers, and observing their response. If it is deemed suspicious, they are referred for additional screening.
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