TSA screeners bypassing security in Denver

The local NBC affiliate in Denver has uncovered a policy at the Denver International Airport that "allows airport screeners at Denver International Airport to bypass the same security screening checkpoints that passengers have to go through." The screeners can simply walk around the same security checks that passengers go through without their person or belongings being checked. Here's a quote from the article:

At DIA, 9NEWS videotaped a dozen TSA screeners walk through a side gate and enter the sterile area of the airport carrying backpacks, purses and lunch boxes. Nothing was screened.

Sources told the affiliate that there was some worry that new TSA badges would be lost because they set off alarms at screening points, causing the screeners to remove them when going through checkpoints. But TSA officials said that is not not the reason. They claim it is a risk-based move. Another couple of quotes:

"We have to put our resources where we believe the risk is greatest. Does it really make sense for the Transportation Security officers to spend time screening each other rather than focusing on the unknown out there?" asked Carrie Harmon, TSA public affairs manager.

"We have a finite amount of resources and we allocate those where we think the risk is greatest," said Harmon. "It's based on intelligence; it's based on knowledge of our people and our processes."

I assume the intelligence she is referring to is the background checks done by TSA. But background checks are typically less than useless. The screeners are also subject to random screening while at work, but that is also useless for the most part since the screeners still know that they are coming. It is not difficult to hide something if you have the desire to do so.

Look, I am all about risk management. But clearly someone at DIA is not very skilled in measuring risk. Unless they can show how they came to the conclusion that this risk is acceptable (and I don't see how they can), this is a gargantuan loophole. How hard would it be for a terrorist to get or counterfeit a TSA uniform? It is inviting another terrorist attack, and this needs to be fixed immediately.

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