TSA - Essay Example

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Employees working with TSA may be in the same uniform but they perform different roles. Specifically talking about airport security, all airports follow the same guidelines for security purposes as…
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Tiyanna Gray Ms. Frazier English 101 17 September 2009 Roles of TSA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001 by Congress. Employees working with TSA may be in the same uniform but they perform different roles. Specifically talking about airport security, all airports follow the same guidelines for security purposes as recommended by the Congress. TSA that works at the airport can be broken down into three categories namely TSO, LTSO, and STSO.
The first and most important category is the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) who engages with the passengers the most. The TSOs screen passengers and their luggage when they come through the security checkpoint. They also check and verify passengers’ travel documents. They keep a check on cargo buildings of companies that ship items on planes when there are no passengers aboard. A TSO cannot perform shift maintenance on equipment. He is trained three weeks in a classroom setting and needs to complete 80 hours of on-the-job training to become a TSO. Without TSOs, the security checkpoint could not be run properly and efficiently. The TSOs are only accountable for their own selves, whereas LTSOs and STSOs are held responsible for other officers in addition to their own actions.
The next category is the Lead Transportation Security Officer (LSTO). He is the go-between for the TSOs and STSOs. LSTOs train entry level TSOs for their 80 hours of on-the-job training. LTSOs are the head of the exit lane. They keep the supplies stocked for the day for every security lane. They check planes making sure that there are no threats before the passengers board the plane. They can do all basic maintenance on equipment that is used daily, for example, they perform maintenance on the Explosion Trace Detector (ETD) to make sure it is detecting explosives. LTSOs report to the operation center any issues regarding the equipment that may raise doing the course of the day. An LTSO deals with passenger issues that a TSO could not have resolved. They are responsible for everyone on their lane such as they control and supervise passengers without using physical restraint. An LTSO cannot complete the daily operational paperwork as they do not have access to employee personal files.
The last category is the Supervisory Transportation Security Officer (STSO) who is held accountable for every officer. STSOs are trained at TSO level because they are responsible for making sure that all officers are doing their job correctly. All officers get daily briefing from STSOs before going to their respective shifts. STSOs must complete all daily operational paperwork before going back home for the day. They are also held responsible for administrative and disciplinary action for every officer. It is an STSO who makes the final decision over any conflict that arises between a TSO and an LTSO. STSOs make sure that the checkpoints are running smoothly. They keep track of that all officers complete all training. They have access to officers’ personal files. They have a higher government clearance than TSOs and LTSOs.
To sum up, when you are going through a security checkpoint and see a blur of blue officers, you will not think that they are all doing the same job. Each category of officers performs its own individual duties. Although they are doing different duties, it is for the same purpose, that is, to keep the homeland safe. Read More
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