SCHUMER: BY FALL, NYC AIRPORTS TO GET TSA TRAINING OVERHAUL BASED ON FAILED RED TEAM TESTS; SENATOR CONFIRMS NYC TSA PLAN IN PERSONAL MEETING WITH NEW TSA ADMINISTRATOR; SCHUMER CALLED FOR ACTION FOLLOWING REPORT THAT TSA HAD FAILED MORE THAN 95 PERCENT OF RED TEAM TESTS & ALLOWED AIRLINE EMPLOYEES TO SMUGGLE CONTRABAND ONTO PLANES
Earlier This Year, Media Reports Cited a New TSA “Red Team” Report Suggesting Agents Failed to Uncover 67 Out of 70 Threats at Airports Across the Country; Also, a Gun Running Scheme Exposed a Dangerous Loophole that Most Airport Employees Are Exempt from Going Through Metal Detectors; In Response, Senator Urged for a Full Review of Employee Training Procedures & Comprehensive Screening Process
Schumer Met With New TSA Administrator Neffenger to Push for Enhanced Employee Training & Screening Procedures, Specifically at New York Area Airports; TSA Has Committed to an Overhaul & Review By This September
Schumer: TSA’s Training Overhaul is a Step Forward and Sorely Needed Following Unacceptable Security Loopholes
Following a meeting with newly sworn-in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator Peter Neffenger, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the agency has heeded his call and will move forward with a complete overhaul of employee training procedures, the first phase of which will be completed by this September. Earlier this year, following the outrageous results of Red Team testing that revealed agents failed to uncover 67 out of 70 threats at airports across the country, Schumer called for a top-to-bottom review of the TSA employee training procedures and their effectiveness.
Today, Schumer also announced that the TSA will conduct full review of employee screening procedures to determine the most effective reforms, including a review of TSA Operations in New York later this year. In January, a large gun running ring exposed a dangerous loophole that allowed errant airline employees to smuggle guns, drugs and explosives onto planes because often times, airport employees are exempt from going through metal detectors. Schumer urged the TSA to require each airport develop a comprehensive screening process for all employees. Schumer said that this announcement means that the TSA is committed to detecting and closing all loopholes in our nation’s security system.
“This announcement means that the TSA will work to detect and close major loopholes in our nation’s security system by overhauling and reviewing employee training and screening procedures,”said Schumer. “The fact that mock passengers were able to sneak dangerous items—be it guns or fake explosives through airport security lines is not just a problem, it is a unacceptable vulnerability, and I am pleased that the TSA is moving to address this. The newly sworn-in TSA Administrator has assured me that an overhaul of employee training procedures is taking place and the issues raised in the Red Team tests will be addressed by the end of September. I will continue to work hard to make sure the TSA leaves no stone unturned when it comes to airport security.”
Each day, TSA screens about 1.8 million airline passengers and about 1.2 million checked bags and the effectiveness of individual pieces of equipment is critical to that process. A Red Team test from earlier this year determined that 67 out of 70 threats failed to be detected across the country. Following this report, Schumer said that a review of TSA employee procedures is needed.
In January, a groundbreaking investigation conducted by District Attorney Ken Thompson major weaknesses in the airport screening system, when an employee so he simply brought bags of weapons through the employee entrances and into the secure areas of the airport. At New York area airports, employees are physically screened in some cases but not in every instance - the rules vary by employee and terminal. Ironically, the TSA does require that flight crew and pilots be screened.
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