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TSA Introduces “Comprehensive” Physical Screening Technique

Those selected for screening by security staff will now be assessed via a singular and thorough physical pat-down.

The physical screening techniques deployed at security checkpoints around the country have gotten a whole lot more personal, Bloomberg reports. While agents previously had the choice of using five various kinds of pat-downs on passengers selected for screening, these options have been replaced with a single standard technique, one which has been described as “comprehensive” by a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The outlet reports that officials at Denver International Airport (DEN) have advised that, from now on, searches “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.” The change to the screening process appears to have taken effect within the last two weeks, with the new technique being brought into force after trial runs at smaller facilities.

TSA spokesperson Bruce Anderson contrasted the former risk-based physical screening techniques with those now employed by agents around the country. “I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” he said.

The implementation of this more comprehensive physical search is partially the result of a 2015 report that found that screenings by security agents were failing to detect weaponry and guns. It is not yet known if this new search technique includes patting down a passenger’s genital area.

The agency has also advised that this new physical screening policy will also apply to members of flight crew and those classified as “known crew members”. On the whole, these travelers are only occasionally stopped for random screenings and some airlines are inquiring whether or not their staff will be subjected to more frequent searches.

Anderson also explained that the searches will vary by airport. “Sometimes it’s random, sometimes they’re consistent, based on the door you enter. Sometimes, those measures call for a pat-down,” he said.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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cyclogenesis March 7, 2017

Holy heck.. I thought this was an Onion headline!