TSA New Tactic: Talk to Passengers

Friday, 29 Jul 2011 09:48 AM

By Martin Gould

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Airport security officers are about to get a lot more chatty. The Transportation Security Administration is taking a leaf out of Israel’s book by having officers look for signs of possible terrorists by talking to passengers, reports Politico.

"I'm very much interested in expanding the behavior detection program, upgrading it if you will, in a way that allows us to . . . have more interaction with a passenger just from a discussion which may be able to expedite the physical screening aspects," TSA chief John Pistole said on Thursday.

"There's a lot — under that Israeli model — a lot that is done that is obviously very effective," he said at the Aspen Security Conference in Colorado.

TSA already has officers looking for physiological or psychological signs of potential trouble in 161 airports, but the new approach will involve more conversations with passengers.

Pistole said he is also looking at better ways of screening children recognizing that they are unlikely to be carrying weapons.

“Under our new protocols we would see very few patdowns of children," he said. Instead, parents would be more involved in helping guards discover what is wrong if a child sets off the alarms

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