TSA Conducting More Intimate Pat Downs

Beware , TSA’s new pat down procedure is more than touching your  shoulders, knees and toes, it boarders physical touching abuse….Recently while going though security at DIA, (Denver International Airport) to catch a flight in February , I had forgotten to take off my belt during the screening process.   I was asked to step aside and instructed that a TSA agent would do a  “pat down” to see if I was carrying any other objects or items, which I told them I was not.   In the past, the TSA agent would pat you down and avoid any sensitive area of the body. This time all bets are off, this was NOT your ordinary “pat down”, this was an aggressive body search which included touching and feeling my entire body from the head down to the bottom of my feet, they ran their hands over every  inch of my body.   Then the TSA agent bent down on his knees and begin to feel over  the sensitive areas of my body such as the groin, thighs and buttocks, pressing firmly against with his hands.  Not only did they “firmly” touch these areas,  but the TSA agent’s supervisor instructed him to do it again,  the TSA agent did it again  to make sure “no stone was left unturned”.  My wife was shocked after watching how they physically felt up and down my body during this pat down.   After I left the screening area with all my body parts, I was wondering why they acted in such an aggressive pat down procedure.   I recently came across an article written and reported by Bloomberg that TSA has recently informed employees and flight crews that the agency will begin conducting more intimate body searches of air passengers in March.  Apparently, I must have been one of many other travelers that day TSA wanted other fellow travelers to witness if they forget to take something out of their pockets while going through screening.   This is something you learn from and try not to let it happen again.  It feels like a violation of your rights to have some guy feel you up and down, and there is nothing you can do about it if you want to continue on your journey.

TSA was vague on the details of what this new approach would entail, only to suggest that the searches would be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.  A spokesman from TSA Bruce Anderson was quoted in the article as saying “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” Where TSA agents once only used the back of their hands, they will also use the front of their hands while conducting pat-downs.

The change in protocol came after a 2015 study by the Department of Homeland Security revealed that the TSA failed to detect banned substances or weapons in 67 out of 70 tests administered by undercover teams, ABC reported.   Pat-downs have long been part of the TSA’s security screening process. People who refuse standard screening, set off an alarm, or are randomly selected can be subject to additional screening, including pat-downs.  A pat-down now may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs, feet,  head coverings and sensitive areas such as breasts, groin, and the buttocks, according the the TSA website.

All I can say is, do what every you can NOT to get picked to go through a thorough pat down, it’s miserable.

Andy James



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