This I Believe

LaCresha - tulsa, Oklahoma
Entered on April 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I believe in the right to protect the safety of the passengers. Everyday when I report to work, it is my duty and honor to make sure that passengers board an aircraft worry free and safe, 24/7. It is my job to visually and mentally inspect those that plan to do any type of harm to anyone. Because I don’t know who those people are, every passenger is treated with the same respect. It may sound a little bit harsh, but a threat such as a terrorist can come in all different sizes, shapes and ages. I believe that it is my right to confiscate prohibited items from entering an aircraft. This even includes items that are too big and bulky. In addition, items that appear to be a threat such as tools that are over 7 inches, golf clubs and anything else that may cause significant damage to the passengers or the aircraft itself. Protecting the safety and well being of the passengers may be my job, but if I was the one traveling, I would allow myself to go through the same process because then I would know that I am safe. I simply ask myself these questions. Would I fly with the person that I had just screened? Did I screen that person to the best of my abilities that I would allow my family to fly? If I can answer yes to any of my questions then I have done my job.

Events such as gun threats or IED’s that occur on the checkpoint are rare, but when they do happen I am always prepared. For example, a couple of weeks ago, a middle aged man came through the checkpoint with a loaded gun. This loaded weapon was not on his person, it was inside his carry on luggage. At this time the checkpoint is shut completely down. The doors are locked and no passengers may leave or enter until the issue is resolved. The police officers interrogated the man but apparently he forgot that it was hidden inside his bag. We all knew that he was lying because it was inside the main compartment of the bag. The weapon was confiscated and the checkpoint resumed back to its normal activity. During the lockdown procedures, it is my duty to keep the passengers calm because at this point the passengers have no idea what has happened and soon they will all start to panic and become frustrated. Being a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), it is very important how you relay messages or explain certain situations to the passengers because there are many people who still to this day don’t understand why we take so many precautions. Safety is everyone’s responsibility whether you are the law or not. Everyday we take precautions, when we leave the house, the grocery store, or even our vehicles. If we take just a little step further, we all can accomplish more that we would ever imagine.