Last updated: 11:53 AM ET, Mon August 17 2015

Report: TSA Stepping Up Security Checks

Airlines & Airports | Transportation Security Administration | Rich Thomaselli | August 17, 2015

Report: TSA Stepping Up Security Checks

In the wake of the embarrassing security lapse earlier this year by the Transportation Security Administration, the agency plans to increase scrutiny of passengers, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

That could also mean a longer wait in security lines as new TSA Administrator Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger cracks down on the beleaguered agency.

Neffenger is calling not only for the re-training of all agents, but also wants increased used of hand-held metal detectors for any passenger that sets off the alarm on the body scan, as well as swab tests to check for explosives.

The move comes on the heels of an embarrassing series of gaffes by the TSA earlier this year, resulting in the reassignment of acting TSA administrator Melvin Carraway after an undercover investigation revealed a shocking lapse in security among TSA screeners.

In 67 of 70 attempts — more than 95 percent — undercover agents were able to sneak fake explosives and other banned items and weapons past TSA screeners.

ABC News first reported the findings.

The 67 successful attempts included one instance in which an undercover agent set off the security alarm, according to the Washington D.C.-based publication The Hill, yet was allowed to continue on after a pat-down — even though he had a fake bomb taped to his back.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement: “Over the past six years, we have seen TSA consume an enormous amount of government resources, but I’m not convinced we have much to show for it. After spending over $540 million on baggage screening equipment and millions more on training, the failure rate today is higher than it was in 2007. Something is not working. I have long been a proponent of using low-tech bomb-sniffing dogs to detect weapons and explosives. (The) government needs to recognize that the most effective solution is not always the most expensive one.”


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